International Media Law, Policy & Practice (IMLPP) Online Conference 2021

Current threats to media freedom
9 April 2021

Welcome to the webpage of the fifth International Media Law, Policy & Practice (IMLPP) conference. Run by students, the online conference has been organised as a closing event for the 2021 IMLPP course. IMLPP is an optional course on the specialised Informatierecht LL.M. programme, which is offered by the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam. The course coordinator is Dr. Tarlach McGonagle (IViR).

The main aim of the conference is to provide IMLPP students with a platform to present the research that they have carried out during the course alongside invited international experts.

Attendance is open to all students on the Informatierecht LL.M. Programme and all other interested researchers and students.
If you would like to attend the conference, please register before 18.00 on 8 April by sending an e-mail to
Please use the subject line ‘IMLPP Conference’ and give your full name and affiliation. The Zoom-link will be shared with registered participants shortly before the event.

Online Conference programme
10.00 – 10.15Welcome
Tarlach McGonagle (IViR)
10.15 – 11.30Panel I: Threats to safety of journalists
Chair: Anouck Bakhuis (IMLPP)
Speakers: Jennifer Adams (independent researcher), Sophie van Dongen (IMLPP), Dalia Nasreddin (Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation), Anja Pazira (IMLPP)
11.30 – 12.00Break
12.00 – 13.15Panel II: Disinformation and Covid-19
Chair: Sophie Davidse (IMLPP)
Speakers: Jonathan McCully (Digital Freedom Fund), Peter Noorlander (independent consultant), Britt van den Branden (IMLPP), Meredith Hom (respondent, IMLPP)
13.15 – 13.30Closing remarks
Noortje van Hoorn (IMLPP, Conference rapporteur)

Conference Manager: Jessica Bus (IMLPP).
Conference Twitter hashtag: #IMLPP2021

Panel abstracts

Panel I: Threats to the safety of journalists
This panel will focus on selected threats to the safety of journalists. First, the topic will be placed in a broader perspective. Anja Pazira will elaborate on the role of the media in a democratic society. Particular attention will be paid to the effects of the multimedia environment on quality journalism. After that, Jennifer Adams (independent consultant) will expand on this topic by examining threats to the safety of female journalists and gender-based violence online. The second expert speaker, Dalia Nasreddin, who works for the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, will explain the pressing, ongoing need for protection of the safety of journalists. The Foundation plays an important role in the Coalition Against SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation), which can be placed in the broader context of the inhibition of free speech. The panel will be concluded by Sophie van Dongen who will illustrate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the duties and responsibilities of journalists. There will be time for discussion between panellists and participants

Panel II: Disinformation and COVID-19
The second panel will pick up where panel one left off. Jonathan McCully from the Digital Freedom Fund will shed light on challenges for freedom of expression in times of COVID-19. One specific challenge is the rise of mis- and disinformation regarding COVID-19. As the proper functioning of democratic societies and public health are at risk, a number of states have drafted legislation in order to combat disinformation. Peter Noorlander (independent consultant) will provide more clarity on different disinformation laws that have been drafted by Council of Europe member states during the early days of the pandemic and their dangers to freedom of expression, as outlined in his report on the topic.

Finally, to further explore this tension between disinformation and freedom of expression, student speaker Britt van den Branden will combine these two topics by presenting research on the Spanish Action Procedure to tackle disinformation. Meredith Hom will then respond to, and comment on, the three presentations. Finally, there will be time for debate and discussion involving all panellists and participants.