“Nationalism, corruption, polarization and populism. Undermining of human rights, separation of powers and hasty law-making”. These are all issues that were identified as major contemporary or future threats to the rule of law in the conference “How can we protect the rule of law”, held on 5th of February 2019 in Tampere University. The conference was organized by the Public Law research group and was a part of the official programme of the Finnish Presidency of the Council of Europe. The rule of law is also important in the upcoming Finnish EU presidency that begins at the start of July 2019.
Gathering good practices and identifying new trends
In the new media landscape, there is an unprecedented challenge to balance freedom of expression and the right to privacy. New legal problems surface due to the technological advancement. The right to be forgotten was not similar scale problem in the time of print media as it is today. The same development is happening online with increasing hate speech and fake news.
The normal share of responsibility in the new media is also ultimately different than before. At the core of freedom of expression scene are internet intermediaries. These include Internet service providers, social media platforms and search engines.
As corporations continue to face mounting criticism from activists, local communities, and academics for the effects that their operations have had on human rights in various locales, scholarship in business and human rights (BHR) has gained significant traction. A growing consensus exists amongst practitioners and society at large that corporations have human rights obligations the so-called “corporate responsibility to respect human rights”(Ruggie, 2013).
Children washed ashore on the coasts of Turkey and elsewhere; refugees1 being detained in the hotspots on the Mediterranean islands, waiting either to be returned or their asylum applications to be processed; and thousands of migrants walking thousands of kilometers to reach Germany in the summer of 2015… Those are the costs of fleeing from home, where there is an ongoing civil war for years; fleeing with the hope for a better life, with human rights and dignity. And those are the incidents happened in the 21st century, in front of the eyes of the millions, which turned out to be “one of the largest forced movements of people since the end of World War II” as described by scholars and the media.