UCL Faculty of Laws


2019 UCL/Bindmans LLP Debate: State Security -v- Freedom of the Press

17 June 2019

On 12th June 2019, Bentham House hosted the annual UCL / Bindmans LLP Debate on ‘State Security -v- Freedom of the Press: Has the right balance been struck and what may the future hold?’

Audience at the 2019 UCL/Bindmans debate

This year’s debate was chaired by esteemed British legal commentator and journalist Joshua Rozenberg; and the panel members were Alex Bailin QC, Matrix Chambers; Rohit Kachroo, Security Editor ITV News; Lord Anderson of Ipswich QC, former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation; and Jodie Ginsberg, Chief Executive, Index on Censorship.

The debate focused on tensions that have been highlighted between the Government’s efforts to protect our democracy on the one hand and, on the other, the impact new legislation may have on a free independent press by having a chilling effect or compromising protection for journalists’ sources and material.

The packed audience - consisting of lawyers, legal academics, students, and those interested in issues associated with journalistic freedoms – gathered to hear the panel talk about the barriers faced by journalists and free press; and how state security laws may impact free speech. The debate highlighted the need to address the balance between national security and freedom of the press, in light of the introduction of newer counter-terror laws.

The UCL/Bindmans debate, organised by UCL Laws and the leading London-based law firm Bindmans LLP, is an annual public lecture series where key figures from areas including legal practice, human rights, politics, academia debate the topical issues affecting law and society today.


Watch the film of this event

Image: photo courtesy of Bindmans LLP