Blog of the IACL, AIDC

a network of constitutionalists from countries throughout the world

ACL World Congress: Workshop 8

2017CongressLogoOver the coming days, we are featuring each of the 20 workshops in the 10th IACL World Congress 2018 on “VIOLENT CONFLICTS, PEACE-BUILDING AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW”,  being held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 18-22 June 2018. Full details are on the congress website, in English and French, along with information on how to submit a paper. Papers may be in either French or English.



  • Adrienne Stone (Australia/ Australie) (
  • Miyoko Tsujimura (Japan/ Japon) (

Freedom of speech is a central tenet of democracy and yet in times of crisis, it may be the first casualty.  When fear spreads, dissent seems more dangerous and the desire for ideological unity seems more important. Governments, whether well-intentioned or self-interested, face strong pressure towards censorship. Censorship in turn undermines government accountability and impedes political change.  Eventually, this dynamic can weaken constitutional institutions and the rule of law.

Threats to freedom of speech are most acute when societies are under threat of violent physical attack but in modern times threats to the state come in other forms including cyber-attack and the threats ‘from within’ posed by the rise of authoritarianism or xenophobia in democracies. At the same time, freedom of speech can be used to undermine democratic orders: spreading violent ideology, propaganda, hate-speech and fake news.

This workshop explores the multiple challenges posed to, and by, freedom of speech in times of stress arising from conflict, violence and rising authoritarianism.

 Possible themes for papers include:

  • freedom of speech in times of war;
  • freedom of speech and anti-terrorism laws;
  • freedom of speech in emergency regimes;
  • freedom of speech and the threat of authoritarianism;
  • freedom of speech in peace building processes;
  • freedom of the media in the digital age;
  • freedom of speech in a time of ‘post-fact’ politics.

 However, participants are encouraged to conceive of these themes broadly and the Workshop welcomes papers all aspects of these ideas.

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This entry was posted on August 28, 2017 by in IACL world congress.
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