Spring Meeting 2017 on 13 June

Fake News and National Sovereignty

The dangers of politically and militarily motivated fake news and its impace on national interests

Spring Meeting of The

Royal Netherlands Society of International Law

Tuesday 13 june 2017 at 19:00 Hrs.

The Hague Institute for Global Justice
Sophialaan 10, The Hague


mr. Jan Kleijssen
Director of Information Society and Action against Crime, Council of Europe

Rosa S.E.V. Toxopeus, M.A.
Analyst National Security, National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism, Analysis and Strategy Department (DAS)

drs. Carmen Gonsalves
Head International Cyber Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Although fake news is by no means a new topic, the arrival of social media and today’s cyber hyper-connectivity have ensured that ‘fake news’ receives more attention now than ever before. Where it concerns a prank, it may be funny. Where the privacy or integrity of persons is involved, it is quite a different matter and may have legal consequences. On a different level, fake news has an effect across borders and impacts international relations or the sovereignty of states, for example in the context of presidential elections, as – most likely – witnessed in the U.S.A., or in times of political tension. What are the dangers of cross-border ‘fake news’ and what can be done against it?

Combating cross-border fake news is complicated from a technical perspective, but it also raises complex questions of both national and international law. An example: Facebook and Google recently announced action to address fake news, but how far does their responsibility reach and what can actually be done in practice? To what extent are organisations such as the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism active in tackling this issue and what legal means do they have, if any? Also, does it make any difference whether fake news is spread by state representatives or by non-state actors?

mr. Kleijssen, who heads the Council of Europe’s Information Society and Action against Crime Directorate, will reflect on the topic from the perspective of the Directorate’s responsibility in these areas, which comprise standard setting, monitoring and cooperation on a wide variety of issues, including internet governance and cybercrime.

Ms. Toxopeus will reflect on mr. Kleijssen’s introduction from the perspective of her experience as analyst for the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism.

The presentation and the discussion will be held in English.

Book Presentation

On the occasion of the Spring Meeting two new books, whose authors have close connections with the KNVIR, will be presented to dr. K.H.D.M. Dijkhoff, Minister for Migration (Staatssecretaris Veiligheid en Justitie):

Discover International Law
With Special Attention for The Hague, City of Peace and Justice
by prof. Willem van Genugten, Daniela Heerdt, LL.M. and prof. Nico Schrijver
(Wolf Legal Publishers, Oisterwijk, The Netherlands)


The Art of Making Peace
Lessons Learned from Peace Treaties
Edited by Steven van Hoogstraten, Nico Schrijver, Otto Spijkers and Anneleen de Jong
(Brill / Nijhoff, Leiden, The Netherlands)

It will be possible to purchase these books at the end of the meeting.

Date and Venue

Date and Time: Tuesday 13 June 2017, 19:00 – 21:00 hrs.
Coffee/tea available from 18:30 hrs. onwards
Venue: The Hague Institute for Global Justice, Sophialaan 10, 2514 JR The Hague
Admission: Free for members and non-members
Registration: Not required
More information: Secretariat KNVIR. E-mail: ue.su1718434444lapag1718434444nol@R1718434444CES-R1718434444IVNK1718434444