The state must assure that everyone has a right to reply for incorrect information published about him/her.
- 1. Anyone injured by inaccurate or offensive statements or ideas disseminated to the public in general by a legally regulated medium of communication has the right to replay or to make a correction using the same communications outlet, under such conditions as the law may establish. 2. The correction or reply shall not in any case remit other legal liabilities that may have been incurred.
- Each transmitting Party [State] shall ensure that every natural or legal person, regardless of nationality or place of residence, shall have the opportunity to exercise a right of reply or to seek other comparable legal or administrative remedies relating to programmes transmitted by a broadcaster within its jurisdiction, within the meaning of Article 5 [defining jurisdiction]. In particular, it shall ensure that timing and other arrangements for the exercise of this right or other comparable legal or administrative remedies shall be ensured both as regards the timing and the modalities.
- Every person has the right to access information about himself or herself or his/her assets expeditiously and not onerously, whether it be contained in databases or public or private registries, and if necessary to update it, correct it, and/or amend it.
- 1. Any natural or legal person, irrespective of nationality or residence, should be given the right of reply or an equivalent remedy offering a possibility to react to any information in the media presenting inaccurate facts about him or her and which affect his/her personal rights. 2. The request for a reply should be addressed to the medium concerned within a reasonably short time from the public action of the contested information. The medium in question should make the reply public without undue delay. 3. The reply should be given, as far as possible, the same prominence as was given to the contested information in order for it to reach the same public and with the same impact. 4. The reply should be made public free of charge for the person concerned.
- Given the short duration of an election campaign, any candidate or political party which is entitled to a right of reply under national law or systems should be able to exercise this right during the campaign period.
- The practice of journalism in a genuine democracy has a number of implications. These implications, which are already reflected in many professional codes of conduct, include: d) rectifying any published or broadcast information which subsequently proves to be grossly inaccurate.
- The media have a duty to offer a right of reply to statements that are inaccurate or offensive, and they must be able to exercise this right of reply during the campaign period. As a matter of fact, this obligation is particularly important during the election campaign as all views should be put across and reported correctly to the voters in order to allow them to make an informed choice.
- In order to respect freedom of opinion, expression and information and in order that information may reflect all points of view, it is important that the points of view presented by those who consider that the information published or disseminated about them has seriously prejudiced their effort to strengthen peace and international understanding, to promote human right or to counter racialism, apartheid and incitement to war be disseminated.
- With these broad principles in mind, the Special Rapporteur wishes to emphasize that in pre-election periods…(c) The media are exempt from legal liability for provocative statements by candidates or party representatives; the right of reply is provided, as well as correction or retraction in cases where defamation is alleged; the manner and extent of remedy is determined by an independent body.