Free Speech in Times of War and Emergency 

A comparative legal Debate on U.S. and German approaches  

Kidnappings, 9/11, the Iraq war, Guantanamo – these are just a few examples of cases in which gagging orders were given, and media coverage of events was restricted. Every time this happens, we must ask whether such limitations on freedom of the press are justified in the interests of security of the state or the safety of individuals. What is more important: The right of the general public to information? The right of the media to report? Or the (alleged?) common good, as represented by the state? Are these limitations really necessary and wise, or are they a tool used by governments in order to prevent free flow of information and to curtail freedom of speech? Beheadings of victims of kidnappings – Exploitation of the media by feeding them “content”? Osama Bin Laden: A prominent example of the controversial role of the media and the question whether the media are acting or being used. Beheadings televised live – a case for the media?

These highly topical issues will be discussed by media and constitutional law experts, examining comparative aspects of U.S. and German law.

Die Veranstaltung hat am 20. April 2007 in Englisch stattgefunden.


Professor Russell L. Weaver
Professor of Law and Distinguished University Scholar, Lois D. Brandeis School of Law, Louisville, USA

Professor Ronald J. Krotoszynski, Jr.
Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Lexington, USA

Professor Dr. Udo Fink
Lehrstuhl für Öffentliches Recht, Europarecht, Völkerrecht und Internationales Wirtschaftsrecht an der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz


Dr. Mark D. Cole
Ass. Professeur en Droit des Nouvelles Technologies de l'information, des Médias et des Communications, Université du Luxembourg