Art Law Forum

AGL puts forward the idea of a yearly interdisciplinary gathering bringing together artists and lawyers to collectively discuss how the law can be used to protect and expand the space for artistic expression. Designed as an informative as well as practical and thought-provoking event, the Art Law Forum intends to raise awareness of the importance of a common shared space for the arts and the law among its participants, and beyond and develop concrete action plans to improve response capacity and collaboration between specialized lawyers and at-risk artists. 

Attend the first Art Law Forum on the 4 and 5 of June 2020

Join Avant Garde Lawyers, Artist at Risk Connection (ARC) of PEN America, and Columbia University’s Global Freedom of Expression  for the first Art Law Forum taking place on the 4 and 5 June 2020, in Venice, Italy. This two-day event will be held at the Global Campus of Human Rights with the 2020 Venice Biennale as its backdrop. Led by experts in the field such as Karima Bennoune and Agnes Callamard, the Forum will provide a space for highly qualified artists and art-interested legal professionals, including academics, judges and lawyers to receive training, exchange experiences, and collectively address the repressive legislation and human rights violations facing artists today. The program will also include performances from Ramy Essam, recipient of the 2019 Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent and a group of lawyers and judges from the European Court of Human Rights, among others.

Participants will be selected based on their professional profile and relevant work experience with artists and/or in the field of freedom of expression. Given the high-level nature of the event, the number of places is limited and priority will be given to those that register first. We strongly recommend that you pre-register using the link below before the official registration is open on the 5 of March 2020. 

The price for participation in the forum will be 250 EUR including all meals and activities. A limited amount of partial and full participation fee waivers is available for NGO representatives and individual lawyers and artists. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for a waiver in the pre-registration link below.

Please pre-register below:

Partner with us:

We are looking for partners and sponsors to help us ensure the forum is attended by a diverse array of professionals from around the world and open to those who would otherwise not be able to participate due to financial restraints. 

Find more about our sponsorship levels and benefits, by emailing andra.matei@avantgardelawyers.org.

Safe Passage Europe

The aim of Safe Passage Europe is to ensure that at-risk artists seeking safe passage to Europe are provided with legal advice and representation. At-risk artists who qualify for assistance from Safe Passage Europe will be referred to a pro bono attorney and accompanied throughout the pendency of the case by our team in Europe. 

If you’re an artist fleeing persecution or censorship and would like to know if you qualify for assistance from Safe Passage Europe, contact us at contact@avantgardelawyers.org. Be assured that we respect your privacy and are committed to treating your information confidentially.

Training of lawyers

There can be no greater difference than between a judge and an artist and yet it is the duty of the judge to reconcile law with unconventional art. It is in a courtroom that the obscene, the immoral, and the outrageous in a work of art is finally assessed. But how far can a work of art go before it is judged to have violated standards of decency and should the answer be a matter of private or public judgment? Who, above all, qualifies as an expert in such matters?

The way that art is judged in the courtroom shapes the way it is perceived at large and has a direct consequence on how it can be appreciated by the society. And yet, how informed are judges and lawyers in art theory and form and on what grounds do they speculate about artistic merit and motive?

“Art on trial” is a series of workshops for lawyers designed and delivered by AGL Director. The next course takes place in March 2020 at the Europen Court for Human Rights. Read what former participants say here.

Read Andra’s article about the significance the European Court of Human Rights attaches to the protection of artistic expression and the ways in which its case-law regulates the dynamics between artistic freedom, public morals and “the feelings of others”

If you would like Avant-Garde Lawyers to design and deliver an audience-specific course on freedom of artistic expression, please get in touch with Andra andra.matei@avantgardelawyers.org.

Digital Lawyer

The “Digital Lawyer Project” is a joint initiative of AGL along with the Oslo University. Watch this space for more info soon.