Dr. Tarlach McGonagle is Programme Director of the master Information Law and associate professor at IViR. He is also Professor of Media Law & Information Society at Leiden Law School (a part-time chair financed by the Leiden University Fund). McGonagle specialises in a broad range of topics relating to international and European human rights law, especially the rights to freedom of expression and religion; minority rights; participatory rights, and cultural and linguistic rights. His other main area of expertise is international, European and comparative media law and policy. Themes such as pluralism, diversity, tolerance and “hate speech” have a central place in his research.
McGonagle was awarded a Ph.D. by the University of Amsterdam (2008) for his thesis examining the interface between freedom of expression and minority rights under international law. He also holds an LL.M. degree in International Human Rights Law (University of Essex, 2001) and a B.A. International in Law and French (National University of Ireland, Galway, 1998).
He regularly advises and writes expert studies for various branches of the Council of Europe, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations. He is co-rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on combating hate speech, having previously served as a member of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on quality journalism in the digital age and as Rapporteur of both the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership (2016-2017) and its Committee of Experts on protection of journalism and safety of journalists (2014-15).
He was principal drafter of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities’ ‘Tallinn Guidelines on National Minorities and the Media in the Digital Age (2019). He was an invited expert speaker at the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues on “Hate speech, social media and minorities” in 2020 and at the Thematic Discussion on “Racist Hate Speech” organised by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 2012.
McGonagle is a senior researcher at the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research and is co-chair of its Working Group on human rights in the digital age. He is a member of: the Euromedia Research Group; the Editorial Board of the European Audiovisual Observatory; the Editorial Board of Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, and the Board of the Vereniging voor Media- en Communicatierecht ([Dutch] Association for Media and Communications Law).
In 2020, McGonagle obtained his Senior Teaching Qualification (STQ; Senior Kwalificatie Onderwijs (SKO) and was awarded a Comenius Teaching Fellowship. He was voted Amsterdam Law School Lecturer of the Year for 2018. He coordinates and lectures on a number of the Informatierecht LL.M. programme’s compulsory and elective modules. From 2016-2020, he was the External examiner for the (Irish-language) Communications Studies BA and MA Programmes offered by the National University of Ireland, Galway.
In Spring 2013, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS), Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania and a Visiting Fellow at the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law (RIIPL), Rutgers School of Law - Camden, New Jersey.