Following the Committee of Ministers Thematic Debate “Ensuring freedom of expression on the Internet” of December 2014 and the subsequent decision taken on 4 February 2015, Delegates invited the Secretary General to organise a Council of Europe conference on the implication of the European Court of Human Rights case-law on freedom of expression on the Internet.
A high level conference will be held on 13 and 14 October 2015 in Strasbourg, based on three key elements: freedom of expression as a fundamental value of democracy; challenges to freedom of expression posed by the Internet and possible answers; the role of the European Convention on Human Rights and the case-law of the Strasbourg Court in the European legal landscape. The following three issues will be built into various debates over two intensive days:
- the rules of the democratic game when there is conflict between fundamental rights;
- the context of increased social sensitivities;
- how to integrate the Internet into the existing sphere of protection for freedom of expression.
The Conference will enable exchanges of the diverse approaches of concerned actors on these issues: journalists, sociologists, lawyers, judges of the ECtHR, politicians, representatives of international organisations and civil society. It will mark an important milestone in the roadmap towards establishing a coherent regime to protect all public spaces for democratic debate.