The Polish media law controversy: national protests and European discontent

Mehwisch Khan
Joint Honours (Law and European Languages) student at the University of Hertfordshire

This post was originally posted by the European Youth Press

On January 7, 2015, Andrej Duda, the current Polish president and key member of Poland’s right wing ‘The Law and Justice Party’ (PiS), approved a media bill that has sparked substantial controversy in his country.  The new Radio and Television Bill allows a political figure, the Treasury Minister, to hire and fire senior figures in public radio and television. The new hiring process, which will no longer be under the control of the National Broadcasting Council, facilitates restrictions on media freedom, censorship and the dispersal of biased information. Continue reading “The Polish media law controversy: national protests and European discontent”

Privacy and unwanted disclosures of photographs online: the future is wearable?

henry_pearceHenry Pearce
Lecturer in Law and Cohort Tutor at the University of Hertfordshire

The emergence of online social networking sites services has provided us with numerous benefits and has transformed the way in which people work, live, interact and learn. Their use, however, also gives rise to a number of legal and regulatory challenges concerning the privacy of the users of such services. One of the most significant of these challenges is the way in which social networking sites may be used as a means of facilitating the unwanted publication of photographs. It is estimated that approximately 1.8 billion photos are uploaded to social networking platforms each day.[1] Many of these pictures will contain images of identifiable individuals and will have been uploaded without their consent, or against their wishes, and may result in negative consequences. We frequently hear, for example, about individuals missing out on employment opportunities or being blackmailed as a result of personal data distributed via social media.[2] Accordingly, how individuals can be put in a position from which they can exercise control over information shared about them online, photographic or otherwise, and protect their privacy, has become a salient issue for European privacy regulators. An interesting recent development has suggested, however, that technology, rather than the law, might be the best way of securing this objective. Continue reading “Privacy and unwanted disclosures of photographs online: the future is wearable?”

‘Living together’ in diversity and mutual respect: Some thoughts on SAS v France

Piret Akkerman
LLB Graduate from the University of Hertfordshire

The SAS v France[1] judgment, which was delivered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the 1st of July 2014, introduced a new ground to justify interference with an individual’s religious freedom under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In light of recent public debates on an evolving pluralistic and diverse society, this blog post revisits the judgment and discusses its wider impact. Continue reading “‘Living together’ in diversity and mutual respect: Some thoughts on SAS v France”

A brief note on the EU Referendum

Ilaine Foster
Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Hertfordshire 

With the current media discussion of post -‘Brexit’ consequences, there is considerable legal uncertainty about what exactly will happen next. The general public prior to the vote appeared to see a “Leave” vote as a fait accompli and that things would change immediately. As there is no precedent for a country leaving the EU; the actual process of such a decision is new territory. The European Union Referendum Act 2015, which provided for the holding of the referendum, was silent on what the consequences of a vote to leave would be.  There are current legal concerns from the legal community regarding legal nature of the referendum.[1] In most countries, referendums are non-binding due to issues of sovereignty, although in some countries such as Austria, Sweden and Iceland, referendums which are binding on the government are possible. Thus the status of the current UK referendum result has to be considered in the context of our own unwritten constitution and constitutional law. Continue reading “A brief note on the EU Referendum”

The impact of ‘Brexit’ on British Education and Research Institutions

Mehwisch Khan
Joint Honours (Law and European Languages) student at the University of Hertfordshire

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” –  St. Augustine

The EU has been placed under a refined microscope because of the Eurozone crisis and supranationality of the European Union (EU) considered in parallel to the limited national sovereignty of its Member States (MS). Disgruntled with the overarching position of the EU, current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) David Cameron has been cornered by his party backbenchers into holding a referendum on the 23rd of June 2016. Many have been left alarmed, while others overjoyed. Supporters and opponents pick and choose facts, exaggerate and understate crucial issues in order to woo the support of citizens. Amidst the heated debates of politicians and scholars many have been left feeling overwhelmed and largely misinformed. Words such as “Referendum”, “Eurosceptics”, “Europhiles” and “Brexit” have become part of our daily conversations – but what does a voter really need to know before making a decision?  As an undergraduate and a current Erasmus student I was curious of the potential impact of a Brexit on the education sector, this blog post aims to get a deeper understanding of the British input and European budget for the sector. Continue reading “The impact of ‘Brexit’ on British Education and Research Institutions”