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This workshop had the purpose of garnering support from relevant stakeholders on the need for the establishment of a dynamic coalition on the subject of publicness, under which the issues of the right to be forgotten in different jurisdictions, as well as freedom of expression and such other rights could be discussed. By the close of the session, the organisers aimed to recruit members to join as members of the coalition to work to develop a set of actions for a proposal that could be used to engage the IGF community.
Professor KS Park, Korea University Law School, who moderated the session, gave a background for his motivation for the establishment of the coalition and also explained why he saw the IGF’s multistakeholder community as the right place to unite people who would be interested in exploring the issues of the right to be forgotten as well as similar rights under the subject of publicness.
Ms Lorena Jaume-Palasí, Researcher on Philosophy of Law and Politics, Ludwig Maximilian University, mentioned that she suggested the framework of a coalition to Park, when he realized they share a common concern, even though with different dynamics based on different jurisdictions. She provided a summary of her research in the field of the right to be forgotten, drawing on experiences and cases from Europe.
Juame-Palasí, explained that a dynamic coalition is preferable for exploring the topic since the IGF provides a concise structure, demanding a plan of action, and the required stakeholder group representation.
Dr Alejandro Pisanty, Professor, National University of Mexico, shared the experience in Mexico as far as right to be forgotten is concerned. He mentioned that the right to be forgotten works in Mexico with visible cases that have been adjudicated. He however expressed concerns that the pursuit of the right to be forgotten may also lead to a different effect other than the reason for which it is exercised.
Park outlined three things which will constitute a plan of action. First, is to conduct research on the ideas that harm publicness, through the dynamic coalition. Second, is to come up with a list of cases, real or fictional cases covering different jurisdictions, but on the issue of the right to be forgotten and other areas of publicness. The third thing to do is a to produce a joint statement from the coalition.
During the comments and question and answer section the audience made contributions about what should constitute the joint statement. Park mentioned that he would include this input in his draft, and would share with all members, to finalize the statement through the mailing list.
Pisanty also suggested that there must be further discussion among members on the use of the word ‘publicness’ in the proposal, since it is difficult to express the meaning in Spanish, for instance, due to the different connotation it expresses.
The session ended with a call to all interested members to submit their names and email addresses to be used to prepare a mailing list for the dynamic coalition.
by Jacob Odame, Internet Society Ghana