CoE Conference - Freedom of Expression: New Battlefronts

13 Oct 2015 to 14 Oct 2015

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. 

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Draft programme


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