Five Information Law LL.M. students recently co-authored ‘Safety of journalists and the fighting of corruption in the EU’ – a study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee (Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs).
The study examines the growing range of threats confronting journalism and journalists, including violence and harassment; the misuse of defamation and other laws against them, and restrictive measures on freedom of information and expression adopted in response to the Covid-19 crisis. EU Member States must ensure a safe and favourable environment for journalists to perform their public watchdog function. The study examines the overall chilling effect of crimes and threats against journalists and explores various regulatory and other measures to counter such crimes and threats.
The students are: Gionata Bouché, Melinda Rucz and Sarah Stapel (all Information Law research master’s students) and Michelle Seel and Anne van der Sangen (both Informatierecht master’s students and (former) research interns at IViR). Dr. Tarlach McGonagle (IViR) was co-author and supervisor of the study and Dr. Ronan Ó Fathaigh (IViR) was also a co-author.
All of the students deepened their specialization in issues relating to freedom of expression and journalistic freedoms through the elective module, International Media Law, Policy and Practice, on the Informatierecht LL.M. Programme. The publication of the study continues a pattern of Information Law LL.M. students’ first-hand involvement in research activities for international organisations such as the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and UNESCO.