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Exploring the implications of online assemblies

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In its seminal General Comment on the right of peaceful assembly, adopted last year, the UN Human Rights Committee found that Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights “protects peaceful assemblies wherever they take place: outdoors, indoors and online; in public and private spaces; or a combination thereof.” In the process of developing this General Comment over the previous two years, the question of the extent to which the right could be exercised wholly-remotely had been one of the most frequently-discussed topics. In 2019 CGHR put together a Research Pack on the issue, and hosted an Expert Meeting for members of the Committee and other stakeholders to discuss the full implications. The upheavals and transformations that have come about since then as a result of the COVID -19 pandemic have perhaps normalised the idea of online or remote gatherings, but questions still persist, particularly with respect to what legitimate restrictions might be imposed upon the exercise of the right of assembly online, what the implications are for large platforms and digital service providers, and how the right might intersect with thorny practical challenges such as content-moderation.

A panel discussion with:
  • Francesca Fanucci, Senior Legal Advisor, ECNL - European Center for Not-for-Profit Law
  • Evelyn Douek Lecturer on Law & Doctoral Candidate | Harvard Law School Affiliate | Berkman Klein Center For Internet & Society
  • Dr Thomas Probert Head of Research, Freedom from Violence, Univ of Pretoria | Associate, CGHR Univ of Cambridge
  • Dr Ella McPherson Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Co-Director CGHR , Univ of Cambridge


This talk is part of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights Events series.

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