NARAYAN DATTA KANDEL
Narayan is a PhD student in Queens University Belfast; working on ‘Freedom of Expression in Context of Nepal. He is from Nepal where he worked as journalist for Nepalese national newspaper. After law graduation, Mr Kandel started law practice in Supreme Court in Nepal. As law practitioner, he worked for the press freedom, human rights and constitutional related issues.
He earned LLM degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Ulster in 2009, for which his thesis was ‘Reforming the Security Sector in the Context of Nepalese Transition and completed a Masters Degree in International Peacekeeping at National University of Ireland Galway in 2007. He is contributing columns on the issues of human rights, conflict and freedom of expression regularly.
His research interest is in freedom of expression, censorship, mass media law, conflict and transitional issues. His research topic for the PhD is ‘Freedom of Expression a Casualty of Conflict: Media Censorship in Nepal.’ The focus of this research, would be to identify a more suitable approach to understand the nature of freedom of expression suitable to the constitutional and political environment of post conflict Nepal. His research would offer critical approach to the western very liberal idea of freedom of expression, which addresses the concerns of the western societies and, therefore, it has, to date, not proven to be useful and effective to address the needs and concerns of the post-conflict and developing societies like Nepal. The UN’s human rights approach has also not been very effective.
Freedom of expression in Nepal is being restricted through the abuse of loopholes and anomalies in the Constitution and domestic legislation. The state has also failed to stop the intimidation that gives rise to self-censorship in the media.
Good governance, democracy and peace cannot be secured in Nepal unless the laws and legal practice on censorship, restrictions on freedom of expression and the free flow of information are reformed to bring them into harmony with international law and practice.