05 Apr
08:30 - 18:00

Fundamental Rights Protection Online: The Future Regulation of Intermediaries

The purpose of the event will be to discuss the European legislative and judicial responses to the evolving role of online platforms (Facebook, Twitter, other social media, blogging platforms, as well as online hosting portals and search engines).  While traditionally intermediaries were perceived as merely channeling content, is the increased use of algorithms effectively altering their function now, bringing them closer to actual controllers of content? Soft law measures (Code of Conduct) next to technical fixes (online tools) and stricter regulatory mechanisms akin to notice-and-take-down measures have begun to shape a complex regulatory landscape in which policy-makers, judges and private entities share powers. This one-day conference brings together academics, civil society and  other stakeholders to discuss the future of speech in a digital age. 

The conference is co-sponsored by Research Consortium Laws of Surveillance and Security, University of Helsinki.


8:30-9:00 Registration and Opening Remarks by Assistant Professor Bilyana Petkova (Maastricht University and Yale Information Society Project) and Professor Tuomas Ojanen (Director of Research Consortium Laws of Surveillance and Security, University of Helsinki)

9:00-9:30 Keynote Address: Freedom of Speech in a Digital Age by Dr. Gavin Philipson, Professor of Law, Durham Law School

9:30- 10:45 Conceptual Issues:

  • Moderator: Assistant Professor Bilyana Petkova, Maastricht University
  • Panellist Paolo Cesarini, Head of Unit, European Commission DG Connect
  • Panellist Dr. Oreste Pollicino, Professor of Law, Bocconi University, Milan
  • Panellist Dr. Joris Van Hoboken, Professor of Law, Free University of Brussels
  • Panellist Ilia Maria Siatitsa, Research Fellow, Geneva Academy

10:45-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-13:00 Case Studies: Italy, Germany and Austria:

  • Moderator: Prof. Mark Cole, University of Luxembourg
  • Panellist Dr. Marco Bassini, Postdoctoral Fellow, Bocconi University
  • Panellist Dr. Thomas Wischmeyer, Assistant Professor, University of Bielefeld
  • Panellist Eliska Pirkova, PhD candidate, University of Helsinki

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:30 Toward a European Approach? E-Commerce Directive, EU Code of Conduct & CJEU Case Law on Intermediaries

  • Moderator: Tuomas Ojanen, University of Helsinki
  • Panellist Dr. Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon, Associate Professor, Southampton Law School
  • Panellist Teresa Quintel and Carsten Ulrich, University of Luxembourg
  • Panellist Dr. Alberto Miglio, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Turin

15:30-15:45 Coffee Break

15:45-17:00 The Way Ahead: Discussion Panel

  • Moderator: Cosimo Monda, Director, Maastricht European Centre on Privacy and Cybersecurity 
  • Panellists Joe McNamee, Executive Director, European Digital Rights – The Copyright Directive
  • Panellist Karmen Turk, Attorney-at-Law, Partner at Triniti – Estonia - Council of Europe Recommendations
  • Panellist Jens Kremer, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Helsinki – Impact Assessments
  • Panellist Rolf Dyrnes Svendsen, Executive Committee Member of Wan-Infra (World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers)

17:00-17:15 Closing Remarks

How to get to the UM Campus Brussels

Metro: from the Central station take the purple metro line 1 leading to Stockel and get off at ‘Montgomery’. Take exit ‘Boulevard de Saint-Michel / Avenue de Tervueren 1-171 and then turn right. The UM Campus Brussels will be after 30 meters on your left hand.

Brussels Airport: take bus 12 or bus 21 that both cover the area between Brussels Airport and the city center. In both cases, get off at ‘Diamant’ and take the tram line 23 or 24 both in the direction of ‘Vanderkindere’ or take line 25 in the direction of Boondaal Station. Get off at ‘Montgomery’. Take exit ‘Boulevard de Saint-Michel / Avenue de Tervueren 1-171 and then turn right. The UM Campus Brussels will be after 30 meters on your left hand.



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