CFP: Symposium on weaponisation of the law  

22nd June 2023 

Online Symposium by the Journalism Safety Research Network (JSRN) hosted at the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) 

Deadline for abstracts: 9 June 2023

The Journalism Safety Research Network (JSRN), hosted by the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) in the Department of Journalism Studies at the University Sheffield, is hosting a series of online symposiums.

Following the conclusion of the academic consultation on occasion of the 10th anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on Journalism Safety and the Issue of Impunity (UNPA), the Global Academic Community (GAC) highlighted the importance of hosting events to exchange knowledge on journalism safety and issues in regions across the globe.

The GAC recognised that there were particular issues that posed significant challenges of relevance to the UNPA and therefore needed to be studied in order to be understood in their origin, evolution, range and type as well as their significance both present and future in awareness of long-standing research. These issues included: digital safety; gender-specific safety issues; workplace safety issues; improving monitoring; understanding impunity and the weaponisation of the law.

The JSRN serves to facilitate the exchange of ideas, publications and networking opportunities through conferences, seminars and workshops as well as the development of research agendas and policy proposals. In the second of a series of one day online symposiums focusing on these issues, the JSRN is inviting presentations on the weaponisation of the law: the abuse and misuse of legislation to target and harass journalists and the disregard for legislation protecting them.  Weaponisation of the law includes, but is not limited to:

  • Lack of legislative protections for journalists

  • Legislative protections not being enforced to protect journalists

  • Tackling impunity

  • Protections for journalists under International Humanitarian Law (IHL)

The online symposium will provide a chance for academics and civil society organisations to come together to discuss journalism safety threats and research surrounding them. The symposium is aimed at understanding the issues that journalists face and devising solutions as to how these issues can be best tackled.

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words, including a bio of ca. 100 words to Dr Gemma Horton ( by 9 June 2023. Successful applicants will be notified by 12 June 2023.