A student on the Informatierecht LL.M. programme, Patrick Leerssen, has been invited to participate in a high-level Council of Europe conference on freedom of expression. The conference, ‘Freedom of expression: still a precondition for democracy?’, will take place in Strasbourg on 13-14 October. It is shaping up to be the biggest conference that the Council of Europe has ever organized on the theme of freedom of expression, with the expected participation of more than 300 experts.
Speakers include several judges of the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. Various panels will focus on topics such as pluralist public debate; the democratic potential of the media; the limits of freedom of expression, the fight against terrorism and the dangers of mass surveillance.
Patrick will be session rapporteur for the panel focusing on freedom of expression online and the role of intermediaries. Earlier this year, he presented a paper on this theme at the VOX-Pol conference in Budapest and subsequently reworked the paper and had it accepted for publication in the forthcoming issue of the international, peer-reviewed journal, JIPITEC – the Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Law.
Tarlach McGonagle, who coordinates the Informatierecht LL.M. programme, is General Rapporteur for the Council of Europe conference.