Awan to speak at Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Freedom of Expression, Terrorism & Democracy

Next week Akil Awan will be addressing the Council of Europe's conference on Freedom of Expression: still a precondition for democracy? 

The high profile event will bring together top judges, government officials, activists and academics - some 300 participants in total - to address current challenges to freedom of expression, and will be held in the Palais de l'Europe, Strasbourg, on 13-14 October.

The event is open to the media and will assess serious ramifications to free expression from such recent events as the brutal assault against Charlie Hebdo journalists in Paris in January. The conference will assess the extent to which Europe may be sliding towards criminalising free expression, when dealing with hate speech, and will consider how to fight terrorism whilst respecting free expression online – and what implications mass surveillance has for free expression.

During the Conference, three key topics will be discussed:

  • Freedom of expression as a fundamental value of democracy
  • Challenges to freedom of expression posed by the Internet
  • The role of the European Convention on Human Rights

Akil will be speaking on the following topics in Session 3 - The fight against terrorism: are we all potential suspects?

  • How can the fight against terrorism be maintained having due regard to freedom of expression?
  • Foreseeability of laws relating to condoning terrorism, incitement to violence and radicalisation via the Internet: what is the situation in Europe?
  • Legitimacy of measures: what democratic monitoring arrangements?
  • What role should the European Court of Human Rights play in the European legal area?

Moderator: Ms Elfa Ýr Gylfadóttir, Director of the Media Commission, Iceland

Dr Akil Awan, Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer in Modern History, Political Violence & Terrorism, Royal Holloway, University of London
Mr Nicolas Hervieu, Lawyer in Public Law at Paris-Ouest and Pantheon-Assas Universities
Mr David Banisar, Senior Legal Counsel, Article 19
Mr Stéphane Duguin, Head of the European Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU), Europol
Rapporteur: Mr Darian Pavli, Adviser, Special Parliamentary Committee on Justice Reform, Parliament of Albania

The full programme is available here