Photo of Prof. Dr. Dirk Voorhoof, Human Rights Centre, Ghent University


Dirk Voorhoof holds a Master Degree in Law (1979) and Communication Sciences (1980), and a PhD in Law (1990). He was a lawyer at the Brussels Bar (1990-1992), a Member of the Federal Commission for Access to Administrative Documents (1994-2005), of the Flemish Media Council (2005-2012) and of the Flemish Regulator for the Media (2006-2016).

He lectured at Ghent University (1992-2016), in the Media Law Advocates Programme at the University of Oxford (2000-2007) and at Copenhagen University (2004-2017), teaching courses of Media Law, Copyright Law, Journalism & Ethics and European Media Law.

He reports on developments regarding freedom of expression, media and journalism in Europe, including in Iris, legal newsletter of the European Audiovisual Observatory, Auteurs & Media and Mediaforum. He is a member of Legal Human Academy, of the CMPF Scientific Committee, European University Institute, Florence, of the Global FOE&I @Columbia experts network, Columbia University, New York, of the Executive Board of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Leipzig and of the Committee of Experts on Internet intermediaries (MSI-NET) of the Council of Europe.

He is the co-author of the free online e-book Freedom of Expression, the Media and Journalists: Case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (also available in French and German).

For more information see




POSITION Professor emeritus

EMAIL Dirk.Voorhoof[@]

TELEPHONE + 32 (0)478 621 599

SECRETARIAT HRC +32 (0)9 264 69 11

VISITING ADDRESS Paddenhoek 5, 1st floor, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

POSTAL ADDRESS Ghent University, Campus Aula, Human Rights Centre, Universiteitstraat 4, 9000 Ghent, Belgium


  • Voluteer Professor, Ghent University, Law Faculty
  • Member of the Center for Journalism Studies and the Human Rights Centre
  • Guest professor (Lecturer) at Copenhagen University
  • Member of the Flemish Media Regulator
  • Member of the Federal Film Classification Commission
  • Former member of the Flemish Media Council
  • Former member of the Federal Commission for Access to Administrative Documents


University Degrees

  • Master and PhD in Law
  • Master in Communication Sciences


  • Media Law (Ghent University) (till 2016)
  • Copyright Law (Ghent University) (till 2016)
  • Journalistic Ethics (Ghent University) (till 2016)
  • European Media Law (Ghent University) (till 2016)
  • Media Law (Copenhagen University)


  • Visiting Fellow at European University Institute, Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies, Center for Media Pluralism and Press Freedom CMPF
  • Award at 60th ICA Conference (with H. Cannie) for Paper on Hate Speech and the Abuse Clause in the European Human Rights Convention, International Communication Association (ICA), Singapore, 22-26 June 2010.


  • Member of the CMPF Scientific Committee, Centre for Media Pluralism and Press Freedom, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence/Fiesole
  • Member of the Global FOE&I@Columbia experts network, Columbia University, New York
  • Member of Scientific Advisory Commission Media Foundation, European Centre for Press & Media Freedom, Leipzig
  • Member of the Editorial Committee of Mediaforum (Journal for Media and Communication Law, IVIR/VMC, Amsterdam)
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of Auteurs & Media (Larcier, Brussels)
  • Member of the League for Human Rights
  • Member or the Board of Behoud de Begeerte


  • Freedom of Expression under the European Human Rights System
  • Media Law in Belgium and Europe
  • Hate Speech and Incitement to Discrimination
  • Regulation of Audiovisual Media Services
  • Media Policy
  • Media and Human Rights
  • Media and the Judiciary
  • Media and Pluralism
  • Media and Children
  • Copyright and Freedom of Expression
  • Journalism
  • Media Ethics and Self-Regulation
  • Freedom of Expression and Civil Society
  • Access to Information
  • Investigative journalism
  • Freedom of Expression and Chilling Effect


  • D. VOORHOOF, “Freedom of Journalistic Newsgathering, Access to Information and Protection of Whistle-blowers under Article 10 ECHR and the standards of the Council of Europe”, in Council of Europe, Journalism at Risk. Threats, challenges and perspectives, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 2015, 105-143, and in A. KOLTAY (ed.), Comparative Perspectives on the Fundamental Freedom of Expression, Budapest, Wolters Kluwer, 2015, 297-330, accessible free online, March 2017 at
  • D. VOORHOOF, “Freedom of Expression, Media and Journalism under the European Human Rights System : Characteristics, Developments, and Challenges”, In : P. MOLNÁR (ed.), Free Speech and Censorship Around the Globe, Central European University Press, Budapest – New York, 2015, 59-104.
  • D. VOORHOOF, “Copyright and the Right to Freedom of Expression and Information”, in J. CABAEY, V. DELFORGE, V. FOSSOUL and M. LAMBRECHT (eds.), 20 ans de nouveau droit d’auteur. 20 jaar nieuw auteursrecht, Limal, Anthemis, 2015, 221-242.
  • D. VOORHOOF, “Freedom of Expression and Information and the Case Law of
    the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the EU. Overview and highlights 2014”, Conference Paper, Justice for Free Expression in 2014, A review of global freedom of expression jurisprudence in 2014, New York, Columbia University, 2015, 55 p.,
  • D. VOORHOOF, “The European Convention on Human Rights: The Right to Freedom of Expression and Information restricted by Duties and Responsibilities in a Democratic Society”, In: Human Rights, Center for Human Rights Studies, Mofid University, Iran, Vol. 7 – nr. 2, Winter 2013 (published July 2015), 41 p.
  • D. VOORHOOF, “Freedom of Expression and the Right to Information : Implications for Copyright”, in C. GEIGER (ed.), Research Handbook on Human Rights and Intellectual Property, Edward Elgar Publ., Cheltenham – Northampton, 2015, 331-353.
  • D. VOORHOOF, “The right to freedom of expression and information under the European Human Rights system : towards a more transparent democratic society”, EUI Working paper, EUI RSCAS 2014/12 – Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF), February 2014, European University Institute, Florence Italy, 22 p.
  • D. VOORHOOF and P. HUMBLET, “The Right to Freedom of Expression in the Workplace under Article 10 ECHR” in F. DORSSEMONT, K. LÖRCHER and I. SCHÖMANN (eds.), The European Convention of Human Rights and the Employment Relation, Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2013, 237-286.
  • P. VALCKE, D. VOORHOOF and E. LIEVENS, “Independent Media Regulators: Condition sine qua non for Freedom of Expression?” in : W. SCHULZ, P. VALCKE and K. IRION (eds.), The Independence of the Media and its Regulatory Agencies : Shedding new light on formal and actual independence against the national context, ECREA Book Series, Bristol, Intellect Books, 2014, 400 p., 55-82.
  • Ó FATHAIGH and D. VOORHOOF, “The European Court of Human Rights, Media Freedom and Democracy” in M. PRICE, S. VERHULST and L. MORGAN (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Media Law, New York, Routledge, 2013, 107-124.


All publications by prof. Dirk Voorhoof are listed in the Ghent University Academic Bibliography, Dirk Voorhoof@Biblio UGent.

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