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The Siracusa International Institute joins the Forum of Legal Actors on freedom of expression.

On 9th and 10th December, 2020, Mr. Jean-François Thony, President of The Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights and former Prosecutor General of the Court of Appeal of Rennes (France), is joining the Forum of Legal Actors, entitled this year “Strengthening the Role of Legal Actors in the Defence of the Right to Freedom of Expression”. The initiative, organized by the Asser Institute in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, UNESCO and Free Press Unlimited, is part of the World Press Freedom Conference 2020.

The Forum, which is taking place online due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, is mainly aimed at exchanging views and sharing best practices on specific topics related to the protection of the universal right to freedom of expression, drawing on global, regional and national experiences. The forum brings together a group of 12 experts working in the criminal justice field, including judges, prosecutors, lawyers and legal institutes.

Mr. Thony will intervene in the session on “Capacity building at national and regional courts”, along with Ms. Adela Bejtovic, Judge at the Municipal Court in Sarajevo, Mr. Robert Eno, Registrar at the African Court of Human and People’s Rights, Mr. Gomolemo Moshoeu, CEO at the South African Judicial Education Institute, and Mr. Ricardo Sáchnez Pérez del Pozo, Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression at the Office of the General Prosecutor of México. The session will be moderated by Mr. Guilherme Canela, Chief of the section of Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists at UNESCO.

Many relevant issues will be discussed within the forum, including:

  • International and regional standards on freedom of expression and safety of journalists, and their implementation at the national level by domestic courts;

  • The role of national courts in strengthening freedom of expression standards and ending impunity;

  • The integration of freedom of expression and safety of journalists into the curriculum of judicial training institutes, including obstacles to such integration;
  • How the media and civil society can support the independence of the judiciary.


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