Human rights conference

Gonzaga Law Human Rights Conference

Freedom of Expression as a Human Right 

June 2-3, 2019
Florence, Italy

Gonzaga University School of Law’s 2019 Human Rights Conference in Florence, Italy will explore the history, values, tensions, and future of free expression. Hosted at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Italia, Gonzaga’s annual conference will unpack these questions across three panels and two keynote speeches addressing academic freedom, religious and cultural expression, technology and democracy, and hate speech and harmful expression. The presenters include jurists, academics, and other human rights experts from the United States, Italy, Spain, Croatia, South Africa, Australia, and the Philippines. Through these lenses into human rights, Gonzaga expects this program to sharpen the focus on how freedom of expression best can serve as a foundation for human rights around the world.

For questions, please contact Brooks Holland, Director of Global Legal Education. 

Conference Overview

Conference video

Keynote Speakers:

Raul Cano Pangalangan

Topic: The Jurisprudence of International Human Rights Tribunals  

Judge Pangalangan (1958) came to the ICC from the University of the Philippines where he has taught constitutional law and public international law as a Professor of Law and former Law Dean. He has taught inter alia at the Harvard Law School and The Hague Academy of International Law, and has lectured on international humanitarian law for the International Committee of the Red Cross. He is a contributing author to the Commentary on the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court. He has delivered the Keynote at the Salzburg Seminar on International Criminal Law.

He has been a Member of the Philippine Bar since 1984. He has argued before the Philippine Supreme Court and has been designated as amicus curiae in leading constitutional law and international law cases. He was a Philippine Delegate in the drafting of the Rome Statute in 1998 and co-chaired the national campaign for ratification by the Philippines and other Asia-Pacific states.

He studied at Harvard where he received his LL.M. (winning the Laylin Prize in international law) and S.J.D (winning the Sumner Prize for best dissertation on international peace). He holds the Diplôme of The Hague Academy of International Law.

He sits in the governing councils of the Asian Society of International Law and, until 2014, the International Association of Constitutional Law. He sits in the boards of various academic journals.

 

Teresa Sullivan 

Topic: Academic Freedom 

Teresa A. Sullivan is University Professor and President Emerita of the University of Virginia. As President, she led a team that stimulated the revitalization of the UVA Health System, raised faculty salaries, launched an ambitious program of faculty hiring, raised both the numbers and quality of applications, reached new fund-raising records, and launched the University’s Bicentennial celebration. During her presidency, UVA rose from 75th to 51st in research expenditures. Earlier she was the Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Michigan, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for University of Texas System, and Vice President and Graduate Dean at The University of Texas at Austin. In her academic career as a demographer, she developed analytic techniques for the use of U.S. Census Public Use Samples. She was an investigator on a large international sample survey, and with law colleagues Elizabeth Warren and Jay Lawrence Westbrook she led several original large-scale data collections of consumer bankruptcy records. The first book-length analysis of the bankruptcy records, As We Forgive Our Debtors, received the Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association. The second book, The Fragile Middle Class, received the Writing Award of the American College of Financial Services Lawyers. Ms. Sullivan has held faculty positions at the Universities of Chicago, Texas, Michigan, and Virginia, and has received five major teaching awards. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Michigan State University and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

 

Panel 1: Religious and Cultural Expression

 

Douglas Laycock is perhaps America’s leading authority on the law of religious liberty, and also on the law of remedies. He has taught and written about these topics for more than four decades at the University of Chicago, the University of Texas, the University of Michigan, and the University of Virginia. Laycock has testified frequently before Congress and has argued many cases in the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, where he has served as lead counsel in six cases. He is the author of the leading casebook Modern American Remedies, the award-winning monograph The Death of the Irreparable Injury Rule, and many articles in the major law reviews. He co-edited a volume of essays on Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty. His many writings on religious liberty have been republished in a five-volume collection, Religious Liberty. He earned his B.A. from Michigan State University and his J.D. from the University of Chicago, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

 

Maja Vajda 

Paper: The Right to Mock, Ridicule, and Criticize Religion: Exploring the Limits of Free Speech in a Democratic and Just Society  

Dr. Maja Munivrana Vajda is associate professor of Criminal Law at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb where she also obtained her bachelor degree in law in 2003 and her first Master of Laws degree in 2007. She then earned her second LL.M. from Yale Law School in 2008 and a PhD from the Zagreb University in 2011. She received an annual Croatian Award to Best Young Scientists in Social Sciences in 2009, was a visiting professional at the ICC in 2013 and is a current recipient of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences fellowship for 2019. She researches national implementation of international criminal law along with intersecting areas of international criminal law, criminal justice and human rights.

 

Roberto Sirvent

 

Paper: Imagining New Worlds: Religion, Revolution, and Abolitionist Dreams  

 

Roberto Sirvent is Professor of Political and Social Ethics at Hope International University in Fullerton, California, where he serves as Chair of the Social Science Department. He also teaches regularly at Claremont School of Theology and Yale University’s Summer Bioethics Institute. Roberto earned an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University, a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, and a Ph.D from the London School of Theology in the UK. He has held appointments as a Visiting Scholar at Yale University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Copenhagen. Roberto has also served as guest editor of the American Philosophical Association’s Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy and managing editor of Perspectivas: The Journal of the Hispanic Theological Initiative. He is co-author, with Danny Haiphong, of the book, American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News—From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror. Roberto is the founding editor of the Black Agenda Report Book Forum and is currently working on two book projects: one tentatively titled, Bioethics and Black Suffering, and the other called Abolitionist Ethics and Mutual Aid.

 

Rodrigo Cespedes

Paper: Religious Speech, Academic Freedom and Religious Institutions’ Autonomy: European Case-Law

Dr. Rodrigo Cespedes was born in Chile and is a Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Department of Law & Anthropology). His current research focuses on religious discrimination in school education in a number of countries and within the European human rights system. He is a qualified attorney at law and holds a PhD in Law from Lancaster University, UK. Previously, he was postdoctoral researcher at Manchester University (UK), where he conducted research on Latin American comparative law (in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and the Inter-American human rights system). In his own country he has taught Administrative Law, Environmental Law, and Introduction to the Law at Universidad Católica del Norte in Antofagasta, Chile. Over the course of his professional life he has researched and explored numerous topics ranging from jurisprudence to tax law.

His research interests are cultural diversity, freedom of religion, indigenous rights, comparative law, public law, administrative law, transnational constitutionalism, education law, legal history, socio-legal studies, legal theory and jurisprudence. Rodrigo researches on Europe and Latin America as well. His current research project deals with religious discrimination which includes the comparative study of several countries and the European Human Rights System.

 

Laura Depasqual 

Paper: Freedom of Religion in Multicultural Europe: The Achbita and Bougnaoui Cases  

Laura De Pasqual holds a Master degree in European and International Policies and is currently a PhD Candidate at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy. Her research investigates the recent developments of anti-discrimination law within the European Union, with a major focus on difference of treatment on grounds of religion or belief.

 

Panel 2: Technology and Democracy

Rebecca Poza

Zach Messitte is the President of Ripon College in Wisconsin where he is also a Professor of Politics and Government. During the Spring 2019 semester he is on sabbatical as an Associate Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna, Italy.

Prior to becoming Ripon's 13th president in 2012, he served as the Vice Provost for International Programs and the William J. Crowe Chair in Geopolitics at the University of Oklahoma where was also the first Dean of the College of International Studies. His first appointment in higher education was as the Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy and as a professor of government at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

He has written numerous academic articles as well as commentary for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and other daily American publications. The co-editor of two books, Buon Giorno, Arezzo: A Postcard from Tuscany and Understanding the Global Community, he is also the co-author of an upcoming book on former Vice President Spiro Agnew and the modern Republican Party with the University of Virginia Press.

Prior to his career in academia, he worked as a producer at the Cable News Network (CNN) in Washington, DC, as the press spokesman for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and as a public information officer for the United Nations in New York and in Vienna, Austria.

 

Albert Gonzalez 

Paper: Freedom of Expression Under Siege: A Human Rights Perspective on Spanish Libel Law  

Dr. Albert Ruda-Gonzalez, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Girona. Associate Professor in Private Law. He has published about 80 papers on tort law, contract law and property law, among other topics. He is a member of the Institute of European and Comparative Private Law of the University of Girona, member of the European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law (ECTIL, Vienna), research fellow at the Utrecht Centre for Accountability and Liability Law (UCALL), member of the Institute for Brazilian Liability Law (IBERC) and the Institute of Iberoamerican Law (IDIBE), and former Van Calker scholar of the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law (2001). He is a member of the European Law Institute, elected member of its Council, member of the Membership Committee and coordinator and founding member of the ELI Spanish Hub. He is also the coordinator of the ELI Special Interest Group (SIG) on Global Private Law.

 

Olympia Duhart 

Paper: Sword and Shield: The Disruptive Impact of Technology on Human Rights (co-presented with Steven Friedland)

Olympia Duhart teaches Legal Research and Writing (LRW), Constitutional Law, and First Amendment Law at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law. She is Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Faculty & Student Development and Director of the Legal Research & Writing Program. From 2014 to 2016, Duhart served as Co-President of the Society of American Law Teachers with Ruben Garcia of University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Before joining the Nova faculty, Duhart worked at Ruden McClosky and volunteered with the Florida Innocence Project. She also taught high school English and Creative Writing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Professor Duhart has worked as a staff reporter for The Miami Herald. She continues to engage the public through publications in the SALTLAW blog, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times. She was a producer for a podcast mini-series on Women in the Law. She is also a co-author (with Camille Lamar Campbell) of Persuasive Legal Writing: A Storytelling Approach. Duhart writes in the areas of teaching methods, assessment, and vulnerable communities.

 

Steven Friedland

 

Paper: Sword and Shield: The Disruptive Impact of Technology on Human Rights (co-presented with Olympia Duhart)

 

Steven Friedland is a Professor of Law and Senior Scholar at Elon University School of Law, where he was a founding member of the Law School faculty. He has been recognized for his teaching at three different law schools and was profiled in the Harvard University Press book, What the Best Law Teachers Do (Schwartz et al.). In addition, Friedland has served as an Assistant United States Attorney and an Assistant Director of the Office of Legal Education in the Department of Justice, and is a member of the American Law Institute. Friedland holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and L.LM and J.S.D. degrees from Columbia University, where he was a Dollard Fellow in Law, Medicine and Psychiatry.

 

Martha Archler 

Paper: Regulation of Fundamental Rights on the Internet: Do We Know How To Do It?  

Marta Achler LLM (European University Institute, Florence, Italy), LLB/MA (Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia), PhD candidate, Department of Law, has been practicing as a lawyer in the field of international law and international human rights law for over 17 years. Marta also worked in the private law field, prior to taking on her assignments with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, where she held the post of Chief of the Legislative Support Unit in the Democratization Department and recently, the Deputy Head of the Democratization Department. Her main tasks were to provide advice on the compliance of national laws with international law standards to participating States, amongst others, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, North Macedonia, Serbia, but also recently Poland and Hungary . Her areas of expertise are, human rights, constitutional law and democratic law-making in particular. At the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, she has been researching for four years, in the field of human rights and new technologies, particularly the freedom of expression, assembly and association online.

 

Ilaria 

Paper: Sustainability Reporting in SMEs as Instruments of Direct Democracy  

Ilaria is a Adjunct Professor of Commercial Law and a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Florence, Department of Legal Science. Ilaria received her Ph.D. from the University of Milan in 2016 in Legal Sciences (Commercial Law). Ilaria is admitted to the bar in Italy and licensed to practice as a mediator. Ilaria’s research awarded her several scholarships. Her most important research fields are Corporate Governance Law, Corporate Insolvency Law and Dispute Resolutions Methods. Over the past years, Ilaria participated to a project on corporate governance of listed companies, she also participated to the project “The Contractualised distress resolution in the shadow of the law: Effective judicial review and oversight of insolvency and pre-insolvency proceedings” financed by the European Commission in order to addresses several key issues highlighted in the Recommendation of 12 March 2014 on a new approach to business failure and insolvency (2014/135/EU). Between 2012 and 2013 Ilaria has conducted research under a grant awarded by the University of Florence focused on Mediation and Negotiation for Business and complex Organizations. During this time she served as a legal expert for the Civil and Business court in Florence and Pistoia under the direction of Professor Paola Lucarelli.

 

Panel 3: Hate Speech and Harmful Expression

 

Douglas Laycock is perhaps America’s leading authority on the law of religious liberty, and also on the law of remedies. He has taught and written about these topics for more than four decades at the University of Chicago, the University of Texas, the University of Michigan, and the University of Virginia. Laycock has testified frequently before Congress and has argued many cases in the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, where he has served as lead counsel in six cases. He is the author of the leading casebook Modern American Remedies, the award-winning monograph The Death of the Irreparable Injury Rule, and many articles in the major law reviews. He co-edited a volume of essays on Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty. His many writings on religious liberty have been republished in a five-volume collection, Religious Liberty. He earned his B.A. from Michigan State University and his J.D. from the University of Chicago, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

 

Sahar Aziz 

Paper: The Marketplace of Hate: Protecting Muslims from Islamophopbia 

Sahar Aziz is Professor of Law, Chancellor’s Social Justice Scholar, and Middle East and Legal Studies Scholar at Rutgers University Law School. Professor Aziz’s scholarship adopts an interdisciplinary approach to examine intersections of national security, race, and civil rights with a focus on the adverse impact of national security laws and policies on racial, ethnic, and religious minorities in the U.S. Her research also investigates the relationship between authoritarianism, terrorism, and rule of law in Egypt. She is the founding director of the interdisciplinary Rutgers Center for Security, Race, and Rights. She is also a faculty affiliate of the African American Studies Department at Rutgers University-Newark and an editor for the Arab Law Quarterly. Professor Aziz teaches courses on national security, critical race theory, evidence, torts, and Middle East law.

 

Avitus Agbor 

Paper: Reflecting on the Liability of Negationists in South Africa 

Professor Avitus A Agbor is a Research Professor at the School of Postgraduate Programmes, Faculty of Law, North-West University, South Africa. He holds a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. His research interests are in International Criminal Law, International Human Rights Law, International Environmental Law, Constitutional Law, and Accountability of Public Officials. He interned at the Office of the Prosecutor at the IICTR where he conducted research on the prosecutors’ approach in prosecuting persons who participated in the atrocities in Rwanda, leading up to the publication of a book entitled ‘Instigation to Crimes against Humanity under Article 6(1) of the Statute of the ICTR: The Flawed Jurisprudence of the Trial and Appeal Chambers of the ICTR’.

 

Stefano Maffei 

Paper: Extradition for Offensive Speech against the Sovereign 

Stefano Maffei is a lecturer in Criminal procedure at the University of Parma (Italy) and the European Law and Governance School (Greece). A former Fulbright Scholar at Temple Law School (Philadelphia, USA), Dr. Maffeiholds a doctorate from Oxford University and authored numerous publications in the area of comparative procedure and evidence. Dr Maffei has served on several occasions as an expert witness in international extradition cases. 

 

Federica Casarosa 

Paper: The European Regulatory Approach Toward Hate Speech Online: The Balance Between Efficient and Effective Protection  

Federica Casarosa is Research Fellow at the Centre for Judicial Cooperation at the European University Institute, Department of Law. She graduated in Private Comparative Law at the University of Pisa and obtained a Master of Research in Law from the European University Institute (2003). In 2008, she successfully defended her PhD thesis on the role of information in online contracting, in particular analyzing the protection provided to consumers in the pre-contractual phase. She has worked as a consultant for FAO and as a Jean Monnet Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. Her research interests focus on the intersection between private law and fundamental rights, in consumer protection area and media law. Her works appeared on several Italian and international journals, such as the European Review of Private Law, the Journal of Internet Law, and Diritto dell’Informazione e dell’Informatica

 
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