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 should art be sacrosanct, immune from the laws of blasphemy and criminal pursuit? Should the arts have recourse to special protection against charges of immorality, obscenity, and pornography? 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?
In October 2018, Andra Matei delivers the next series of workshops on freedom of artistic expression designed for the lawyers of the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights. The course explores the question of legal-moral constraints on artistic freedom and the importance of an art-informed legal personnel.
A rare and brilliant course comprehensively covering a variety of legal aspects of the freedom of artistic expression. Well-structured and interactive, it provides a broad overview of cases where artworks happened to be subject of assessment in court, with a special focus on the reasoning provided in judgments. The course engages participants in critical conversations about the nature and mission of art, the role of artistic expression in democratic societies and its contribution to public debate and, most importantly, about the criteria that would be adequate and effective to balance this important freedom against other human rights and freedoms in the case of conflict. Highly recommended!
Elena Dodonova, Administrator, Media and Internet Division, Council of Europe, Participant “Art on Trial, Workshop for Lawyers” series, May 2016, ECtHR
Andra’s seminar “Art on trial” is characterized by a refreshingly different approach on how to view the right to freedom of artistic expression. Andra is an absolute expert in the field! Not only did we discuss the Court’s pertinent case-law, but we also learned of other Supreme or High Courts’ case-law of different countries, both the Council of Europe member states and non-member states. I particularly appreciated this “look outside the box”. The seminar encompassed just the right balance between self-study reading materials, input from Andra, and vivid discussions among the participants. In conclusion, I found it highly enriching and very useful for my work at the Court.
Sabrina Wittman-Puri, Senior Lawyer, European Court of Human Rights, Participant “Art on Trial, Workshop for Lawyers” series May 2016, ECtHR
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.