General Principles of International Law concerning Law of Media

Author Name(s): *Jaber Seyvanizad1, Mohammad Hossein Kashkuli
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The destiny of history is based on the self- determination of nations. This process itself is nowadays based on democratic mechanisms which mostly have been appeared in the form of elections and voting-based system. The vote of people also is based on information they receive from media. Consequently, it can be expressed that world is controlled by media. On the other words, nothing is more powerful than media in managing nations and societies. Subsequently, media with this extent of power, logically may be abused by ambitious States. As the modern weapon at disposal of colonizers, media has shown us that how media can manipulate public minds and channelize them in favor of colonizer interests. Through the descriptive method, this article tries to investigate the most important general principles of international law, which are in association with subject of media generally and communicative tools specifically. Results are indicating that there is a definitive relation between the principles of international law and communications. On this basis, States sovereignty and independency principles, sovereign equality of States and non-use of force form the main framework of the internationally legal system governing on communications. Information ethics, information terrorism, freedom of information, racism, blasphemy, xenophobia and social media are some of the other subjects which are addressed in this article.


International Law, Communications, Media, Sovereignty, Independency, Equality, Use of Force


As a space in which the international relations are formed, International community is affected by communications and because of such an impressionability it must protect itself from the surrounding atmosphere. On the other words, it must be able to affect it. Accordingly, the relation between the communications elements needs to be clarified with principles of international law, because in the process of effectivity on communications by means of international law, nothing logically can be presented other than the principles governing on international law. As a result, it can be stated that, communications in international community is not limited to its internal space, i.e.  Cyber space or the created space by media tools, but it is operationalized in a factual space which is called international community in which, media in addition of obeying its specific rules, also must obey the international community rules which have been codified within the framework of international law. Strictly speaking, the informational community that is the cyber sample of people in physical society, must be based on both its technical rules and the rules of society in which it is formed. Moreover, it is obvious that the structure and format of international law is different from one of its special subcategories in field of international relations, i.e. law of communications and accordingly enjoys different principles. Therefore, the investigation of the ingredients of communications law form the perspective of communications law principles does not seem to be academically sufficient. For both applying the rules of international law of communications and  realizing the objectives of general international law in the light of communications law as well, it is necessary that the elements of  communications law to be analyzed by general principles governing on international law. General international law is composed of various principles. Some of these principles individually relate to States and some other collectively relate to international community. Since mentioning the relation of all these principles with elements of communications law is out of the patience of current paper, just some of them enjoying key role are explained; including sovereign equality of States, States independency, non-resort to force and freedom of information.


Since communication is inevitably crystalized in the real physical world and this physical world is nothing other than the international community, it has no option except for complying with its rules and principles. This article investigated the rights and duties of communicative elements which were emanating from the most important principles of international law, i.e. the rules that govern on international community, including the principle of sovereignty and independency, sovereign equality of States principle and non-use of force principle. On this basis we can conclude that, the rights and duties of the communicative elements in physical world are remarkably different from the cyber world, specifically in terms of forms and samples. As a result, they have to be dealt by their own necessary rules. Also it was pointed that, there is a correlation between international law of communications and general international law, because each principle of international law of communication, in a special way is considered as a basis for each principles of general international law. Relying on what mentioned above, it can be expressed that the current structure of international law of communication severely suffer from the lack of cohesion and harmony, in a way that its important issues always encounter with many challenge which mostly arose because of being in conflict with interests of powerful States. Therefore, there must be a real cooperation among international organizations and specifically among their specialized organs on one hand and non-governmental organizations on the other, to be able to recognize and effectively frame the provisions of international law of communications. This may help international community to have a total control on communications. For reaching a new structure of law in which the infrastructures of informational society has been desirably founded, it is suggested that States design a mechanism in which they can maximize the rate of the legal harmony between international law and domestic law. Such a practice consequently leads to the enlightenment in the context of communications law.

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