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Sunday 24 June 2018

Major free speech symposium by INM, TCD and Columbia

Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College Dublin
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

A major public debate on freedom of speech and the pressing need to reform Ireland's draconian defamation laws will take place in Trinity College Dublin next month.

The event entitled 'Freedom of Speech: Where journalism and the law collide at the boundary of 21st century debate' is part of the 'Fears, Factions and Fake News' symposium to be held in conjunction with Columbia University and in partnership with Independent News and Media.

The event will take place over two days on November 6 and 7 before moving to the US. The 'Fears, Factions and Fake News' event will see Trinity team up with the leading US Ivy League university for a series of events that will be held on both sides of the Atlantic.

The collision of the worlds of journalism and law will be debated in an evening discussion which will examine how defamation cases bring crippling costs at a time when commentary online and in social media is flourishing without the corresponding checks and balances.

Workshops will follow on November 7 on right-wing nationalism, post truth and immigration.

The symposium will address hateful discourse, nationalism and the rise of right-wing movements.

Organised by the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute and Columbia's Society of Fellows and Heyman Centre for the Humanities, the event will also deal with the atmosphere of divisiveness and xenophobia in the US.

These will be followed by a further two days of events in New York at the Heyman Centre for Humanities on November 9 and 10, with live streams taking place to audiences at the two colleges.

A distinguished panel of speakers will look at the differing forms of nationalism in the US and Europe, addressing the rise of right-wing political movements.

Immigration and how communities respond to migrants will also be a major topic of discussion. The convention will consider the policy failures and the protest votes that brought about Brexit and the election of US President Donald Trump as well as the 'post-truth' era and the future of information.

To register to attend the 'Behind the Headlines' discussion on freedom of speech and defamation at Trinity College Dublin, visit www.tcd.ie/trinitylongroomhub

Sunday Independent

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