The Paris Attacks and Global Norms on Freedom of Expression

Open to the Public
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 5:30pm
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 5:30pm

Since the horrific attacks on offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish supermarket Hyper Cacher in Paris, the place of freedom of expression as a right and value has been vigorously debated across Europe and beyond. Whilst the outrage of many leaders, demonstrators and the media in the West in response to the attacks has been expressly based upon freedom of expression, violent protests against Charlie Hebdo’s latest issue elsewhere suggest that freedom of expression is “in many places at best a wavering ideal”, as The Economist put it. This lecture will explore the significance of global norms in this very current debate. More specifically, it will examine the relevance of international human rights law, under Articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the approaches of key UN human rights bodies to developing policies that protect freedom of expression whilst also addressing intolerance and incitement to hatred on religious grounds. In her lecture, Sejal Parmar will argue that, in the wake of the Paris attacks, the case for freedom of expression needs to be urgently remade and that this should be done on the basis of international human rights standards.

The event is co-hosted by the Tom Lantos Institute and Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Education and Psychology and will be live-streamed.