Columbia Global Freedom of Expression seeks to advance understanding of the international and national norms and institutions that best protect the free flow of information in an interconnected global community with major common challenges to address. Affiliated with the Columbia Global Policy Initiative in 2013, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression was launched by Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger as part of his vision to make Columbia a global university for the 21st century. It is directed by Dr. Agnès Callamard, a distinguished human rights and freedom of expression expert.
To achieve its objective, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression engages with a range of stakeholders, including academic experts, legal practitioners, judges, activists and students. It undertakes and commissions research and policy projects, organizes events and conferences, and participates and contributes to global debates on the protection of freedom of expression and information in the 21st century. Its flagship project is the Global Freedom of Expression Case Law Database, an online platform that provides summaries and analyses of hundreds of judicial decisions relating to freedom of expression.
The Global Freedom of Expression Case Law Database, launched in June 2015, contains over 800 cases from 113 countries, offering blogs, publications, and reviews of legal developments on freedom of expression and information around the world. It is designed to be a key resource for a broad audience of stakeholders working on freedom of expression, including lawyers, judges, activists, academics, and students. The case briefs are written, reviewed, and selected by a team of legal researchers, experts, and practitioners in international freedom of expression and human rights law. In an effort to establish a baseline of standards, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression seeks to include seminal cases and then add precedent-setting, influential, as well as controversial cases in order to plot trends and identify potential emerging norms.
- Produce up-to-date comparative law information and analysis on a range of core freedom of expression issues and disseminate them broadly.
- Provide an analysis of positive legal precedents to facilitate their use in the promotion of freedom of expression.
- Contribute to the development of an integrated and progressive jurisprudence and understanding of freedom of expression and information around the world.
- Promote the acceptance of progressive legal rules regarding freedom of expression by a range of courts.