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In the process of drafting new media laws for states emerging from violent conflict, or transitioning towards more democratic governments, the role of customary law is often overlooked. While “best practices” or international standards draw on widely accepted norms of international human rights law, they also focus on the experience of media regulation that has emerged in Western countries promoted by non- governmental organizations (NGOs) and international actors in the name of “freedom of expression.” The adoption of these norms and regulatory institutions is encouraged, often wholesale, with little attention to the local context. After laws are adopted, the emphasis then tends to shift to their uptake or to teaching relevant legal authorities about how to apply the provisions and raise awareness, particularly among journalists, about the new media legislation.



Book title

Routledge Handbook of Media Law

Publication Date



237 - 252