February 18 Tuesday

Regulating Speech Online: A Comparative Constitutional Perspective Panel

  • Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 12:05PM - 1:00PM
  • SLB Room 128
  • Open To The YLS Community Only
  • Add to Calendar:


Regulating online speech has become a key concern for lawmakers in several countries. But national and supranational regulatory efforts are being met with significant criticism, particularly in transatlantic perspective. Critiques, however, should not fall into the trap of merely relitigating old debates over the permissibility and extent of regulating speech. Our speakers argue that the normative balance between speech protection and speech regulation as a constitutional matter has been struck in different ways around the world, and this fundamental balance is unlikely to be upset by new speech mediums. This panel's primary intervention lies in untangling arguments based on objections to speech regulation in general from problems associated with designing mechanisms to regulate online speech consistent with varying constitutional frameworks. It then distinguishes “old school” and “new school” speech regulation in comparative perspective. Finally, it sketches a normative framework for evaluating regulatory efforts in light of different constitutional frameworks.

Hannah Bloch-Wehba is an Assistant Professor of Law at Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law.  She teaches and writes on law and technology, with a focus on free expression, privacy and government accountability.  Her interests include transparency and accountability for law enforcement, public access to information, and the use of new technologies in government decisionmaking. 

Professor Bloch-Wehba is a graduate of NYU School of Law, where she was an Institute for International Law & Justice/Law and Security Scholar, and of the University of Texas at Austin.  From 2016–2018, she was a supervising attorney in Yale Law School’s Media Freedom & Information Access Clinic.  Previously, Professor Bloch-Wehba was the inaugural Stanton Foundation National Security–Free Press Fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and worked as a litigation associate at Baker Botts LLP. 

Claudia E. Haupt is an Associate Professor of Law and Political Science, whojoined the Northeastern faculty in 2018. Professor Haupt’s current research is situated at the intersection of the First Amendment, health law and torts in the context of professional speech. Her further research interests include constitutional law and comparative constitutional law as well as law and technology.

Prior to joining Northeastern, Professor Haupt was a resident fellow with the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, where she continues to be an affiliate fellow, and a research fellow with the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School. She has also held an appointment as associate-in-law at Columbia Law School and, prior to that, taught at George Washington University Law School.

Before entering academia, Professor Haupt clerked at the Regional Court of Appeals of Cologne and practiced law at the Cologne office of the law firm of Graf von Westphalen, with a focus in information technology law. She is admitted to practice in Germany and New York. She holds a PhD in political science from the University of Cologne, a JSD from Columbia Law School, an LLM (with highest honors) from George Washington University and her first law degree from the University of Cologne.

Jack M. Balkin is Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School. He is the founder and director of Yale's Information Society Project, an interdisciplinary center that studies law and new information technologies. He also directs the Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression and the Knight Law and Media Program at Yale.

Sponsoring Organization(s)

ISP, TechSoc

Similar Events