Who protects the journalist?

Wie beschermt de journalist?

On Thursday 12 March 2015 Erasmus School of Law organises a special session on the protection of journalists against arbitrary interferences by the state and against threatening by other private parties.

Freedom of expression is enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 10 ECHR protects citizens, and especially journalists, against arbitrary interferences with that freedom by the state. What about the active protection of journalists when their freedom and safety are threatened by other private parties?.

Freedom of expression: the freedom of journalists to express their opinion. This may be a strongly protected freedom, but it is not an absolute freedom. What should one be able express in freedom and what can/should be limited (also in view of the rights and freedoms of others)? A considerable body of jurisprudence already exists, but the discussion is far from finalised.

The freedom of expression also concerns the question what protection is due to journalists when they are threatened. In other words, what are the positive obligations of the authorities in this respect? Little jurisprudence exists about the positive obligations of the state in this respect. The debate is however very topical, certainly having regard to the recent attacks in Paris.

Free Press Unlimited
Speakers include Prof. Tarlach McGonagle, University of Amsterdam, Council of Europe Commission for the protection of journalists, Mr. Otto Volgenant, Lawyer and Chair of the VMC Studiecommissie Bronbescherming, and a short pitch by four journalists (from Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Moldava and Mexico) on their work.

The class is organised in combination with Stichting Geuzenpenning. The Geuzenpenning 2015 is awarded to Free Press Unlimited, an organisation who supports media professionals in about 40 states in the independent exercise of their at times dangerous profession.

More information

Prof. Kristin Henrard, E henrard@law.eur.nl, T +31 10 4081806