The trustees do note the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and European Convention on Human Rights do not create an absolute human right to freedom of expression and that there are constraints which are necessary and appropriate. All activities (whether risk mapping, investigative grant consideration and approval or lending support to campaigns undertaken by other charities and like organisations) take these limitations into consideration. That being said the trustees note that formal criteria and processes should be in place to ensure this position is upheld.
The trustees consider the criteria below in restricting freedom of expression in line with recognised authorities on the subject matter. They note that although one has freedom of expression, one also has a duty to behave responsibly and to respect other people’s rights.
The Universal Declaration on Human Rights does not create an absolute right to freedom of speech but it (together with its successor; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) sets a balance with a range of other rights and freedoms. These exceptions are further developed in the European Convention on Human Rights and incorporated in UK domestic law in the Human Rights Act 1998.
States may restrict this right if they can show that their action is lawful, necessary, and proportionate for example, in order to:
- protect national security, territorial integrity (the borders of the state) or public safety
- prevent disorder or crime
- protect health or morals
- protect the rights and reputations of other people
- prevent the disclosure of information received in confidence
- maintain the authority and impartiality of judges
For example, views encouraging racial or religious hatred can be restricted or as necessary to protect other human rights.
The trustees recognise that such constraints on the right to freedom of expression can be necessary and appropriate. The charity would not for example issue a grant for any application which ignored any legitimate restrictions imposed as referenced above say for example intended to encourage racial or religious hatred.
In making any determination in relation to the grant programme and the applications considered, the trustees shall always consider as a prerequisite for approval:
- awareness of the above restrictions on the following basis.
- Whether a right has been or will be curtailed.
- Whether any constraints can be justified in terms of Article 10.2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
- Whether those constraints are necessary and proportionate.
The trustees shall ensure these criteria shall be stated in the grant application terms so that applicants shall be aware at the outset prior to any submission of an application. The applicant shall be required to confirm it has assessed its application satisfies these criteria.
Any application not satisfying this requirement shall in the first instance be rejected.
By these processes, the trustees shall ensure only applications going through the recommendation processes through the Expert and Advisory Boards satisfying these criteria shall proceed to final determination by the trustees.