New book on the United Nations, freedom of expression and information

The United Nations and Freedom of Expression and Information: Critical Perspectives

T.McGonagle & Y.M. Donders (eds.)
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, June 2015, 534 pp.
ISBN 9781107083868.


This book provides a critical and uniquely comprehensive examination of the main UN standards and mechanisms dealing with the rights to freedom of expression and information. It details the chequered history of both rights within the UN system and evaluates the suitability of the system for overcoming contemporary challenges and threats to both rights.

The book’s institutional focus comprises five international treaties, UNESCO and the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression. Different aspects of freedom of expression and information are foregrounded in different treaties, to ensure the effective enjoyment of both rights by particular groups, eg. children or persons with disabilities, or the meaningful application of the rights in particular situations, eg. combating racism.

The book’s thematic focus examines a selection of themes that are prompting fresh thinking about the substance and scope of the rights to freedom of expression and information, eg. the impact of new communication technologies.