IGF 2019 WS #160
Rule of Law as a key concept in the digital ecosystem

Thematic Track

Organizer 1: Guilherme Canela Godoi , UNESCO
Organizer 2: Israel Rosas, Internet Society
Organizer 3: Agustina Del Campo, Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression CELE

Speaker 1: Darian Pavli, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Edward Asante, Intergovernmental Organization, African Group
Speaker 3: Adlin Abdul Majid, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: André Gustavo Corrêa de Andrade, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 5: Alves Facebook, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 6: Raquel Gatto, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Guilherme Canela Godoi , Intergovernmental Organization, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Agustina Del Campo, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Israel Rosas, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Debate - Auditorium - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

Either in Data Governance policies and practices or in security/safety policies and practices is inevitable that tensions, disagreements and disputes will emerge, particularly when regulatory measures are being applied. It is in the best interest of the digital ecosystem, mainly from a human rights based approach, that these disputes be solved under an independent Rule of Law system, following therefore a due process of law, with the qualified participation of judicial operators (judges, prosecutors, lawyers, among others).

Under this context, the policy questions related to the guarantee of human rights principles, the application of security/safety measures, including sanctions, to protect, among other rights, privacy, the best interest of children, to fight hate speech, to define and attribute responsibilities, must be discussed including a key perspective (Rule of Law) and a key player (Judicial Operators).


GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Description: The proposed debate will involve key judicial operators from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America and other stakeholders involved with the internet governance and Rule of Law discussion to address why and how “Rule of Law” must be a key concept when critical policies related to data governance and safety/security issues are being designed and applied.

Key points to be addressed are:
1. Good and bad jurisprudence dealing with the key issues of this session;
2. How the judicial systems are being involved and/or neglected in the Internet Governance discussions;
3. How international human rights principles are being already used or should be used by judicial systems worldwide to address questions such as hate speech, fake news, child protection, data privacy.

Agenda outline:

Introductory Remarks: UNESCO Judges Initiative as best practice to involve judicial operators in the internet governance debate – Mr. Moez Chackchouk, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Communicaction and Information (10 minutes)

World Roundtrip, multi-regional perspectives: (40 minutes)

Judicial operators from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America will present the achievements and challenges in their respective judicial systems.

Judge Darian Pavli, European Court of Human Rights

Justice Edward Asante, president ECOWAS, Community Court of Justice

High Court Judge André Gustavo Corrêa de Andrade, Rio de Janeiro Appeals Court

Dr. Adlin Abdul Majid, Malaysian Lawyer, expert in internet issues

Critical approaches (10 minutes)

Representatives of Civil Society Organizations and Private Sector will offer their views on the key elements presented by the invited Judicial Operators

Flavia Alves, Head of International Institutions & Relations, Facebook
Raquel Gatto, senior policy adviser, ISOC

Open Debate with the Audience (30 minutes)

Expected Outcomes: 1. Enhancing the participation of judicial operators in internet governance debates;
2. Fostering south-south and north-south cooperation among existing networks of judicial operators on internet governance issues.

The session is conceived as a talk-show, with a strong role being played by the moderators in involving the invited speakers and audience in contributing to the achievement of the key expected outcomes of the session.

Relevance to Theme: Data Governance main issues as well as safety and security main issues inevitably encompasses potential conflict of rights (freedom of expression and privacy, for instance) and the due process of law to identify if a conduct was or wasn’t protected by international freedom of expression standards (Was a given speech a Hate Speech, for instance? How fake news should be addressed by judicial electoral authorities?).

Therefore this workshop underlines that it is essential for the digital ecosystem to debate the role of judicial operators, as players, and the Rule of Law, as a concept, as key elements of an enabling environment for data governance and safety policies that are in line with international human rights standards.

Relevance to Internet Governance: Internet Governance is, by definition, a multistakeholder endeavor. However, within the different aggregated groups normally joining the discussion (government, for instance) we also have a multiplicity of other players that are relevant to the debate, but quite often aren’t part of it. In the case of the big “government category”, while the executive branch is quite always present, legislators and judges aren’t. Since Internet Governance involves a great deal of debates about the amount of statutory regulation needed for the internet ecosystem, legislators and judicial operators can’t be kept outside of the discussion, on the contrary, they should be in the very heart of it. This session, focusing in the role of judicial operators to data governance and safety policies, seeks to bring their perspective to the Internet Governance arena.

Online Participation

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