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Freedom of Speech vs. Genocide Denial Laws

Geoffrey Robertson

Geoffrey Robertson discusses freedom of speech laws in the context of denialist rhetoric.

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January 2016


Freedom of Speech vs. Genocide Denial Laws

In January 2015, attorneys Geoffrey Robertson and Amal Alamuddin Clooney represented Armenia before the European Court of Human Rights in the case against the Turkish ultra-nationalist Doğu Perinçek for publicly denying the historical fact of the Armenian genocide. Here, Robertson speaks about the case in the context of national laws protecting an individual’s freedom of speech and defines the point at which freedom of speech may become harmful for the public.

Produced by AGBU WebTalks in partnership with the Zoryan Institute.


Geoffrey Robertson QC is an international jurist, human rights lawyer, and academic. His award-winning book An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Remembers the Armenians? presents an argument based on fact, evidence and his knowledge of international law, to establish that the horrific events that occurred in 1915 do indeed constitute genocide. In recent years, he has been particularly prominent in the defense of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. He has also represented author Salman Rushdie and prosecuted General Augusto Pinochet. He is founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, the UK's largest human rights practice, and was formerly President of the United Nations War Crimes Court in Sierra Leone and a member of the UN's Justice Council. In January 2015, Geoffrey Robertson and Amal Alamuddin Clooney represented Armenia before the European Court of Human Rights in a case against ultra-nationalist Turkish MP Doğu Perinçek.