English only

Strasbourg, 12 November 2008

Conference on Anti-terrorism legislation in Europe since 2001 and its impact on freedom of expression and information


17 and 18 (morning) November 2008
De Bazel Conference Centre
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

17 November



Mr Erik Jurgens, former Member of the Dutch Senate, former Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

General Rapporteur:

Ms Sandra Braman, Freedom of Expression Professor, University of Bergen, Norway, Professor of Communication, University of Wisconsin, USA


Welcome: Mrs Hemineke van Boekxmeer, Head of the Media Division, Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
Mr Jan Malinowski, Head of the Media and Information Society Division, Council of Europe


Keynote speech: Developments in national legislations concerning the fight against terrorism in Council of Europe member states since 2001 and their bearing on freedom of expression and freedom of the media: general trends
Mr David Banisar, Director of the Freedom of Information Project, Privacy International


Presentations: Responses to the keynote speech: Comparing the general trends and specific national experience
Ms Sandra Braman
Ms Galina Arapova, Executive Director, Mass Media Defence Centre, Voronezh, Russia


Coffee break


Session 1: Panel discussion: The possible challenges of anti- terrorism legislation and practice for the right to freedom of expression and information and freedom of the media: general trends


- Have there been examples when restrictions on free speech have put a disproportionate limit on freedom of expression and information? What general conclusions on the drafting of anti-terrorism legislation and policy can be drawn from these specific examples?
- Is there sufficient regard to Council of Europe standards on freedom of expression and information in the context of the fight against terrorism? If not, which standards are not applied and why?


Mr Gerald Staberock, Director, Global Security and Rule of Law Programme, International Commission of Jurists



• Mr Arne König, President, European Federation of Journalists
• Mr Dirk Voorhoof, Professor in Media Law, Gent University
• Mr Olivier Ribbelink, Expert of the CoE Counter-Terrorism Task Force, Head of the Research Department of the T.M.C Asser Institute for International Law, The Hague
• Mr Alexandre Guessel, Council of Europe Anti-Terrorism Co-ordinator




Session 2: Working groups: Sharing experiences on the possible bearing of legislation on glorification of and incitement to terrorism, surveillance, state secrets/access to information and protection of sources on freedom of expression and information


Presentation: Glorification of and incitement to terrorism and surveillance of journalists and the relevant Council of Europe standards


Mr Peter Noorlander, Legal Director, Media Legal Defence Initiative, London


Working group 1: Glorification and incitement to terrorism


Ms Dunja Mijatovic, Director of Broadcasting, Communications Regulatory Agency, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Working group 2: Surveillance


Mr Ben Hayes, Statewatch, London


Coffee break


Presentation: State secrets/access to information and protection of sources and the Council of Europe standards


Ms Eva Moraga, Senior Lawyer and Project Director, Access Info Europe
Mr Ádám Földes, Project manager, Access Info Europe


Working group 3: state secrets / access to information


Mr Tarlach McGonagle, Institute for Information Law (IVIR), University of Amsterdam


Working group 4: protection of sources


Ms Brigitte Alfter, Journalist


Discussion on the results of the working groups (moderators will briefly discuss outcome of their working group)


End of day one

18 November



Summary of day one by the General Rapporteur


Panel discussion: Protecting freedom of expression and information and freedom of the media in the context of the fight against terrorism


Identifying need for future action:

Which standards need to be borne in mind when balancing different rights?
What should legislators and policy makers be aware of when drafting or revising anti-terrorism legislation and policy in order to protect freedom of expression and information and freedom of the media?
What action should intergovernmental organisations take?
What can the media and civil society do?
What are examples of best practices that should be followed?


Ms Bissera Zankova, Member of the Council of Europe Steering Committee on the Media and New Communications Service (CDMC)


    • Ms Agnčs Callamard, Executive Director, Article 19
    • Mr Hans Verploeg, Journalist
    • Mr Mark Muller QC, Chairman, Kurdish Human Rights Project
    • Mr Rob van Bokhoven, Legal Advisor, Department of Legislation, Dutch Ministry of Justice


Conclusions by the Chairperson


End of the conference