The President of the Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS, Honorable Justice Edward Amoako Asante will on Monday, 22nd June 2020 join other high-profile speakers at a global event to discuss the challenges to freedom of expression, privacy and related rights posed by measures adopted by various governments around the world in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other speakers at the Webinar, which is being organized with the support of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the ECOWAS Court of Justice and Open Society Foundations, include judges of other human rights courts, UN experts, academics, practitioners and representatives of civil society

The organisers of the Webinar, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the Oxford University, UNESCO and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism said that the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken worldwide in response to it have had significant implications for human rights.

For example, they said that over the last months, several national authorities have declared states of emergency, restricting many fundamental rights including freedom of expression, access to information and privacy.

In addition, some governments have adopted laws to fight disinformation, and it is unlikely to be long before judicial authorities will have to rule on cases related to freedom of the press and freedom of expression in relation to these measures.

The organizers said related topics for discussion may include criminal justice, privacy, and the proportionality of the measures taken during the pandemic in relation to freedom of expression, as well as the role and function of domestic and international accountability mechanisms, including the judiciary, human rights commissions, ombudspersons, special rapporteurs and treaty bodies. 

The webinar, which will be held in English followed by a similar one in French on Monday 29 June 2020, are part of a series of webinars for judicial operators on legal challenges related to freedom of expression in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other panelists include Judge Darian Pavli of the European Court of Human Rights, Joan Barata of the Center for Internet and Society and Cyber Policy Centre, Stanford University Law School and Jennifer Robinson, an Australian Human Rights Lawyer with Doughty Street Chambers in London.