Revenge Porn and Freedom of Speech

In recent years, the distribution of intimate photos or videos without consent has become an epidemic in the United States. This phenomenon is often referred to as Revenge Porn. The harm suffered by the victims affects all aspects of their lives. Nervousness, hysteria, depression, and anorexia are known to be common symptoms among victims of revenge porn. Some victims have tried and even succeeded in ending their lives.
By 2021, almost all US states had criminalized revenge porn, defining it primarily as an infringement of privacy, as obscenity or as harassment. In addition US courts have recently considered the constitutionality of criminalizing revenge porn in view of the potential conflict with freedom of speech mainly based on the aforementioned categorizations. Contrary to the courts’ decisions, I will argue that revenge porn is a sex offense and this reconceptualization has implications with regard to freedom of speech, that of both the disseminator and the potential audience.

Access to Information and the Future of the Public-Private Distinction

In recent decades, there has been a global expansion of freedom of information (FOI) laws. Today, over 110 countries have such legislation in place, designed to enhance transparency and accountability. Yet, in most states, these laws are limited to governmental or other public bodies. The privatisation and outsourcing of public services thus raises important questions about the purpose and scope of FOI legislation.

This paper examines the challenges posed by privatisation to the operation of FOI legislation within the United Kingdom. In doing do, it considers whether the public-private distinction is still a useful concept for describing legal and societal structures. Through an analysis of the meaning of ‘functions of a public nature,’ the paper argues that the public-private distinction is conceptually relevant, though it is necessary to clarify what makes public services ‘public.’

The Future of SLAPP in Israel – Substance and Procedure

The growing phenomenon of SLAPP—Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation—in Israel is worrisome. It endangers free society and stifles the public from freely expressing views and taking an active part in social and political life. This phenomenon has tremendously increased in the era of social media, in which each person becomes a “publisher” that creates public content.

In our paper we suggest anti-SLAPP measures through Israel’s 2021 civil procedure law reform. We argue that the new Civil Procedure Code created a new balance, that is tilted toward efficient, fast, and fair administration of civil lawsuits. This affects SLAPP lawsuits, which according to the new Civil Procedure Code gives preference to free speech over the Plaintiff’s right for full inquiry of the lawsuit, through classification of SLAPP as an abuse of the legal process and dismiss it in-limine.

Punishing Insult to the President? An Evaluation of the Turkish Constitutional Court’s Decision on the Constitutionality of “Defamation of the President”

This paper evaluates the constitutionality of the crime titled “Defamation of the President” provided under Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code. The evaluation is presented as an alternative to the Turkish Constitutional Court’s concrete norm review decision in which the court decided that the provision was in compliance with constitutional requirements. This paper argues that the decision was erroneous and not in line with European Court of Human Rights’ jurisprudence. The paper highlights the stark increase in the number of charges and convictions under the crime and finds the provision to be a disproportionate limitation of individual rights. Specifically, the provision fails to pass the tests of legality, necessity and proportionality stricto sensu. The concluding argument is that Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code should be abolished, and the President’s reputation should not be protected through methods bestowing special protection.