250 years with the Freedom of the Press Act

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    Finnish ambassador Paula Parviainen, Professor Jack Tsen-Ta Lee from Singapore Management University (SMU), Professor Kevin Y L Tan from National University of Singapore (NUS), Dr David Goldberg, Director of “Project Forsskål” and ambassador Håkan Jevrell. Photo: Helena Reitberger

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    Professor Kevin Y L Tan discusses whether Singapore should adopt a Freedom of Information Law. Photo: Helena Reitberger

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    Professor Jack Tsen-Ta Lee from Singapore Management University (SMU), Professor Kevin YL Tan from National University of Singapore (NUS) and Dr David Goldberg, Director of “Project Forsskål” Photo: Helena Reitberger

This year marks the 250th anniversary of the Freedom of the Press Act.

At the time of its adoption in 1766 the Act introduced a unique addition to European legal culture. It was the most liberal Freedom of the Press Act of that time and it was also the world’s first Freedom of Information Act. The Act remains an essential part of the Swedish Constitution. On October 20th the Embassy hosted and event to commemorate this important anniversary. The event, that took place at the Swedish Residence, was jointly organized together with the Finnish Embassy and Singapore Management University (SMU).

Two distinguished speakers were invited: Dr David Goldberg from i.a. London University and Director of “Project Forsskål”, who shared his expertise on scholar Peter Forsskål, the man behind the 1766 Freedom of the Press Act and Professor Kevin Y L Tan from National University of Singapore (NUS) who discussed whether Singapore should adopt a Freedom of Information Law. The presentations were followed by a panel discussion moderated by Professor Jack Tsen-Ta Lee from SMU. The Swedish ambassador Håkan Jevrell and Finnish ambassador Paula Parviainen reflected upon the importance of the right to freedom of speech and freedom of access to information in our time. The seminar was made possible thanks to support from the Swedish Institute (SI). In connection with the seminar the exhibition "The Swedish Freedom of the Press Unfolded”, produced by the Swedish Institute (SI), was also presented.

To read more about Peter Forsskål, please visit http://www.peterforsskal.com/