28 May 2015 from 13:15 to 15:00

Lecture by Prof. Paul Cliteur: 'The Future of Human Rights and Freedom of Speech'

Prof. dr. Paul Cliteur - Wikimedia Commons/Vera de Kok
Prof. Paul Cliteur - Wikimedia Commons/Vera de Kok

As a part of the Ethic Institute's NWO VICI project Human Dignity, Human Rights, Prof. Paul Cliteur (Leiden University) will give a lecture entitled 'The Future of Human Rights and Freedom of Speech'. He will focus on the way in which human rights, in particular freedom of speech, have responded to the rise of theoterrorism. A commentary will be provided by Prof. Bert van den Brink (Philosophy).

Terrorism: limiting the freedom of speech

The central assumption of Cliteur's lecture will be that the limits of free speech are, to an increasing extent, not established by the legislature or the judiciary, but by terrorist organisations and terrorist individuals. At least, this is the case with regard to a particular kind of speech: religious criticism or religious satire.

Freedom of speech is nowadays 'freedom of speech in an age of theoterrorism'.This means that freedom of speech is accompanied with many factual constraints which are real limits on the free speech for the persons concerne: those targeted by terrorist assault, although the general public seems ignorant, many politicians included.

Six case studies

In a study of six major cases, the Carrell Affair, the Cartoon Affair, the Rushdie Affair, the Terry Jones Affair (better known as the Koran-burning pastor), and the Youssef Affair (better known as the creator of the Innocence of Muslims video), and the early discussion on the film The Stoning of Soraya M., Cliteur hopes to clarify the predicament our civil rights seem to be in. He also aims to shed some light on the future of human rights, assessing the different approaches governments of nation-states can adopt in addressing this problem.

About Paul Cliteur

Paul Cliteur is Professor Enclycopedia of Law Studies ('Encyclopedie van de rechtswetenschap') at Leiden University. Besides his academic work, Cliteur also publishes critical pieces on a regular basis. He is known for his liberal angle, his atheism, republicanism and his dedication to animal rights.

Start date and time
28 May 2015 13:15
End date and time
28 May 2015 15:00
Entrance fee
Free