Dr. Anna Loutfi is a legal academic and practicing barrister in the UK. Her practice and her academic writing concentrate on issues relating to the equality act and freedom of speech constraints in the European and UK common law regimes. The focus of her talk will be the category of philosophical belief in UK equality law and its implications for general freedom of expression under common law and ECHR regimes. The presentation will explore how the understanding of belief and particularly notions like blasphemy have expanded their legal remit in both European and UK law. In recent decades this has led to legal decisions that have, over time, restricted debate in areas from religious practice to views on gender, the environment, human rights, and illegal migration. Dr. Loutfi’s discussion will explore how this case law evolution of what constitutes belief has gradually eroded the space for questioning and debating what are essentially deeply held opinions. It is this evolution, rather than any abstract commitment to free speech, that is undermining what were once open societies.
Dr Anna Loutfi is a practicing barrister in the area of UK employment, human rights and equality law, focusing on freedom of expression and thought. She holds a PhD in the comparative history of Central and Eastern Europe, with a specialization in law, and is deeply familiar with the history, politics and culture of Hungary, where she resided as a doctoral student and later faculty professor at the Central European University, Budapest (2001-2013). She is affiliated with the Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London and is currently a consultant with The Bad Law Project, a rule of law think tank in the UK.
-Dr. Anna Loutfi, Legal Academic and Practicing Barrister
-John O’Sullivan, President, Danube Institute
-Prof. David Martin Jones, Director of Research, Danube Institute
Date: 13 February 2023, 5.30 p.m.
Venue: Lónyay-Hatvany Villa- 1. Csónak str., 1015 Budapest
(Entrance: Aranybástya - The Golden Bastion Restaurant)
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