Institute for
International Law and Human Rights

Civil & Political Rights Civil Society Rule of Law

IILHR Comments: Freedom of Expression

Analyzes the roots of the right to freedom of expression in the Iraq Constitution and international treaties and covenants. Freedom of expression also includes the right of assembly and of the press and may only be limited for violations of “public order and morality” under the constitution. “Public order and morality” are not defined in the constitution so interpretation is left to lawmakers or the courts. The lack of definition may lead to uncertainty and unfairness. The law should define “public order and morality” but must be careful not to run afoul of the Constitution’s Article 46 guarantee that laws will not “violate the essence of the right to freedom.” Suggests narrowly tailored language in line with international practices related to incitement of violence and defamation and racial or ethnic slurs.