october, 2019

12oct(oct 12)8:30 am13(oct 13)6:00 pmFreedom Of Speech


Event Details

Freedom of speech – the right to speak out, to debate, to criticise, to disseminate information on matters of public importance – is one of the most basic of human rights. Article 19 of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights holds that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.” The constitutions and laws of countless countries protect the free-speech rights of individuals and journalists, reflecting the crucial role that the free dissemination of information, news and debate plays in democratic systems of government. Yet the right to speak out, to inform, to report and to openly debate is not absolute. Nor is it enjoyed by everyone, everywhere. This fundamental human right is under attack in many societies, and on many fronts.

Some governments pay lip service to guarantees of free expression; others actively censor or repress citizens, political opponents and the media; still others use punitive laws to control, punish and silence critics. The role of the news media as a check on official corruption and wrongdoing is under attack, as governments use threats, intimidation and even violence against journalists who expose and criticise. Misleading information and hate-driven commentary spread via social media platforms are manipulating public opinion, warping political debate and polluting the public sphere. Meanwhile, social stigma and excessive political correctness create intolerance, stifling debate and demonising some speakers. And although defamation laws and human rights codes regulate and penalise those who would use speech to harm and denigrate others, ethnic and racial groups continue to the targets of hostility and hate speech.

In western countries where speech is largely considered to be free, notions such as “post truth,” “alternative facts” or “fake news” are making headlines, making us wonder about the responsibilities that come with public speech and about where the line should be drawn an individual’s right to express themselves freely and society’s right not to be wilfully misinformed.

This inclusive interdisciplinary conference aims to explore all aspects of free speech at the beginning of the 21st century with a view to forming a selective and innovative publication to engender further research and collaboration.

For further details and information please visit the conference web page by clicking here


12 (Saturday) 8:30 am - 13 (Sunday) 6:00 pm


Vienna 2019

Hotel Mercure Wien Westbanhoff Felberstraße 4, 1150 Wien, Austria