New date: 11 June 2021. More information to follow.

The European Court of Human Rights says that freedom of expression is one of the essential foundations of a democratic society. It is one of the basic conditions for the progress of a democratic society and each individual’s self-fulfilment. While the ‘classic’ questions remain (when can free speech be legitimately limited within a liberal democracy), a number of modern-day challenges to freedom of expression are arising. For instance, what is the role of private online intermediaries? How does the contemporary wave of disinformation impact on rights? What questions do the extraterritorial dimensions of freedom of expression raise? We welcome submissions proposing novel analysis of both ‘classic’ freedom of expression questions, such as hate speech, political correctness, terrorist propaganda and whistleblowing and new challenges, as online expression, mis/dis-information, mal-information and ‘fake news’, the increasing concentration of media ownership, and the rise of populist expression. Particularly, we seek to explore what can the ECtHR do to address the most problematic freedom of expression-related questions raised by illiberal democracies and restrictive political regimes within Europe. Freedoms of judicial, academic, artistic, political, journalistic and corporate expression fall squarely within the goals of this workshop.

The workshop is open to both established and early-career scholars and practitioners, including advanced PhD students. It is open to researchers of human rights law and fundamental rights, and also welcomes submissions from those working at the crossroads of law and other disciplines, including political philosophy, political science, sociology and economics. We also encourage submissions that undertake comparative analysis.


Abstracts should be submitted to starke@hertie-school.org by 31 January 2020.