What we need and what we should avoid 

A Media Law Expert Forum with U.S. and German Participants 

Media and the ability to extensively use free speech are undoubtedly of great significance for the functioning of modern democracies. However, experience has shown that the right of free speech can also have negative effects: concentration of opinion in the hands of few, destroying personal integrity by defamatory speech, distribution of negative material / illegal content – to name just a few.

Therefore, the question is legitimate and ever current to ask, how much regulation free speech needs to balance it in favour of its positive role. Should States prefer regulation or leave e.g. protection of minors and human dignity to the self-regulation of the media? Can States efficiently regulate free speech at all in a global media world?

It is also general knowledge that the United States’ legal approach to the regulation of free speech differs significantly from the European and especially German attitude – at least if taken the wording of the law. Therefore, it is especially enriching to discuss all above aspects in an Expert Forum comprised of approx. 20 U.S. and German Media Law scholars to allow intensive debates.

Participants will include university scholars and media lawyers. On the basis of predistributed
papers there will be several units focussing on specific questions in which the participants will openly discuss possible regulatory approaches for the future. In the afternoon there will be a summarising discussion.

Diese Veranstaltung ist ein Expertengespräch mit eng begrenztem und geladenem Teilnehmerkreis.

Die Veranstaltung hat am 09. Juni 2005 stattgefunden.