Global Freedom of Expression


An Initiative of Columbia University Housed at the Office of the President

Columbia Global Freedom of Expression was founded in 2014 by Lee C. Bollinger, President Emeritus and Seth Low Professor of Columbia University. It brings international experts and activists together with the University’s community  to provide quick, easy, and reliable access to the best national and international standards  to protect free expression as well as to highlight legal developments in international and national courts on the most sensitive issues for the defense of freedom of expression.

The Global Case Law Database, our flagship project, is an open access resource for a broad audience of stakeholders working on freedom of expression and is supported by a network of international experts. It surveys jurisprudence around the world, critically reviews exemplary cases, engages in comparative analysis, and aims to identify national, regional and global trends. By focusing on the role of the institution of justice, we aim to determine the extent to which the Justice Institutions are referencing international norms and standards, and address information and expression as a matter of law and of a global nature. Updated weekly, it hosts analyses of more than 2,000 cases from over 130 countries. To reach as many regions as possible, we also have versions of the database available in Spanish and Arabic. Translations of emblematic cases are also available in French, Portuguese, and Russian. 

Columbia Global Freedom of Expression also undertakes and commissions research and policy projects, organizes events and conferences, and participates in and contributes to global debates on protecting freedom of expression and information in the 21st century.

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Columbia Global Freedom of Expression seeks to contribute to the development of an integrated and progressive jurisprudence and understanding on freedom of expression and information around the world.