Each time I read a new article or interview with an American lawyer or legal scholar reacting to the recent decision by the Facebook Oversight Board (FOB) to invoke international human rights law in sustaining Facebook’s suspension of Donald Trump – I feel seized by the impulse to respond with an unsolicited public primer on what international human rights law (IHRL) is. It is not an unfamiliar feeling. On the contrary, the impulse (which I experience as uncomfortably paternalistic) has emerged repeatedly in the past, say, 20 years, during any one of countless exchanges with lawyers or academics who have voiced both certainty about what it is and confusion about why anyone not actually working in the field of IHRL would need to know it.

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Source Publication

Just Security


Facebook, Facebook Oversight Board, international human rights, First Amendment, freedom of expression, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), United Nations Human Rights Committee


Constitutional Law | Human Rights Law | International Law