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Right to Know Conference


April 5, 2013 from 8:30am-5:15pm in 219 Dauer Hall and the University Auditorium, Friends of Music Room.

The overarching question for the conference is: How do we reconcile the competing priorities of privacy and transparency, particularly in transitional countries emerging from a post-totalitarian past?

The conference will be subdivided into three panels, the first on the legal questions, the second on media, and the third on archive issues.

The legal panel will present a comparative framework for the conference. The presenters will be Mark Fenster, (College of Law, University of Florida), whose work is on the US concept of transparency and the development of rights “to information” and “to know,” and Jon Mills, (College of Law, University of Florida), who has advocated for greater privacy in the US and Florida legislature. He also is a student of Polish privacy laws.

The archive panel will be our third panel. One paper on Hungary, one on Romania, and concluding with a look forward in another direction, with a paper by Lyrissa Lidsky (College of Law, University of Florida), on cyberlaw.

This makes up a full and intense day of presentations and debates on this timely subject. The conference is organized by Dr. Alice Freifeld and the Center for European Studies and is supported in part by The European Delegation to the United Sates Getting to Know Europe grant, The Graham Center, Levin College of Law, The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, the Raymond and Miriam Ehrlich Eminent Scholar Chair, and the University of Florida.

On Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence will host a workshop, Capitalism in Europe Since 1945, in 215 Dauer Hall.


8:30am    Panel 1: “De-Democratization?”
Chair: Alice Freifeld (Director, Center for European Studies and Associate Professor, UF Department of History)
    • “The Transparency Fix: The Right to Know in Historical Context”
      – Mark Fenster (College of Law, University of Florida)

    “Political Tradeoffs Between Post-Authoritarian Privacy and Transparency”
    – Jason Wittenberg (Associate Professor, UC Berkeley, Political Science)

    9:20am-9:35am    Discussion   
    9:45am    Panel 2
    Chair: Michael Bernhard (UF, Department of Political Science, Raymond and Miriam Ehrlich Eminent Scholar Chair)
    • “The Right to Know the Past in Hungary”
      – Gábor Halmai (Professor of Law, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Visiting Research Scholar, Princeton)
    • “De-Democratization or Governance by Triage? Diagnosing Romanian Democracy Through Trust”
      – Paul E. Sum (Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science & Public Administration, University of North Dakota)
    • “Politics and Transparency: The Role of Truth Processes in Poland, Serbia and Croatia”
      – Brian Grodsky (Associate Professor, Comparative Politics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
    11:00am-11:20am    Discussion   
    11:45am-1:00pm    Keynote Address
    In the University Auditorium, Friends of Music Room.
    • “Historical Obstacles to Transparency in Central Europe”
      – Éva Balogh
    2:00pm-3:10pm    Panel 3: “Law and the Media: The Legal Issues Surrounding Privacy and Lustration; Government Influence on the Courts”
    Chair: Magda Giurcanu, Lecturer, The Center for European Studies
    • “Illiberal Democrats: The AKP and Freedom of Expression in Turkey”
      – Howard Eissenstat (Assistant Professor of History, St. Lawrence University)
    • “Journalism & the Pursuit of Truth in East Central Europe Since 1989”
      – Owen Johnson (Associate Professor, School of Journalism, Indiana University)
    2:50pm    Discussion   
    3:20pm-4:35pm    Panel 4: “Communications Law, Defamation and Privacy”
    Chair: Lili Levi (Chair, University of Miami, Professor of Law)
    • Jon Mills (College of Law, University of Florida)
    • “US Citizens Need Not Apply”
      – Alice Freifeld (Director, Center for European Studies and Associate Professor, UF Department of History)
    • “Government Social Media Use in the United States: Constitutional Constraints”
      – Lyrissa Lidsky (College of Law, University of Florida)
    4:35pm-5:15pm    Discussion & Concluding Remarks   




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