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ECA 2023 - Communication Law & Ethics IG Conference Updates

Interest Group Colleagues,

A schedule describing the nature and times of the Communication Law & Ethics (CL&E) programming for ECA 2023 being held at Baltimore’s Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor Wednesday, March 29th thru Sunday, April 3rd is included below.  CL&E is sponsoring three panels, discussing the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, holding a Supreme Court Roundtable examining five recent First Amendment, and addressing the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs in which five position papers    explore Communication Perspectives on a Post-Roe World. We are also co-sponsoring a roundtable panel on Interpersonal Communication Ethics with the Interpersonal Communication Interest Group.

Important note! After what seems like decades being consigned to an 8 am business meeting, the Communication Law & Ethics Interest Group will hold this year’s business meeting at the incredibly humane hour of 1 pm on Thursday, March 30. In addition to discussing programming ideas for ECA 2024, we will need to 1) elect Interest Group new leadership and 2) send a representative to the Nominating Committee meeting on Friday, March 31, from 8:30-9:45 in the Annapolis Room at the Baltimore Hyatt. 

Also, Jennifer Waldeck has asked that we ID CL&E’s incoming program planner as soon as possible so that their name can be added to ECA 2024 Interest Group Planners Guide and that they can attend the ECA 2024 Planner’s Meeting being held Friday, April 1st from 1:00 to 2:15 pm.  Any volunteers to take on this important task? Contact me at

Also important! We will want to be direct and concise in our business meeting discussions. Leeanne Bell is organizing a special tour of the iconic Camden Yards ballpark, home of the Baltimore Orioles. The tour, for ECA members only, is tentatively scheduled for 2pm on Thursday, March 30th. Contact Leeanne at to add your name to those ECA members interested in attending.

Baltimore is a great ECA town. Turn out to support your CL&E colleagues and participate in the ensuing discussion, and don’t forget to attend our Interest Group Business Meeting. Look forward to seeing you there.


Tom Flynn
2023 CL&E Interest Group Planner

ECA 2023 Communication Law & Ethics Interest Group Programming

Thursday, March 30th

10:00 – 11:15 AM: Celebrating the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights – A Discussion on Where We Have Been, Where We Are, and Where We are Going.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "We recognize that the ability to communicate is a basic human right" yet since 1969 efforts have been made to find a way to enhance the articulation, promotion and protection of the "right to communicate." The right to communicate movement emerged from the concern that Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was too narrow to encompass the implications of technological developments. The articulation of the right to information, it is argued, needs to be expanded to a more comprehensive concept of the right to communicate. In the ensuing years there has been controversy and opposition to the recognition of this right within the U.N. system. This presentation will explore the history and current issues associated the movement to support the Right to Communicate.    

1:00 – 2:15 PM: Communication Law & Ethics Business Meeting   

2:00 - Tentative ECA tour of Camden Yard Ballpark

Friday, March 31st

8:30 -9:45 AM: Supreme Court Roundtable: This panel features presentations on five meaningful cases with free speech implications: Berisha v. Lawson (2021), Federal Elections Commission of Ted Cruz for Senate (2022), Kennedy v. Bremerton School District (2022), Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. (2021), and Shurtleff v. City of Boston (2022). Each presenter will recount the facts of one case, explain the decision, and explore the large significance of the holding.

10:00 – 11:15 AM: Harboring Innovation at the Intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences: A Round Table on Interpersonal Communication Ethics: This round table discussion explores the intersection of interpersonal communication and communication ethics as a safe harbor for a dialogic exchange between the social sciences and humanities. Interpersonal communication ethics provides coordinates for the future of the field that prioritizes axiological meaning while preserving rigorous methodological approaches. Using a pedagogical lens, this roundtable invites a collaborative approach to understand emerging perspectives in interpersonal communication. Co-sponsored by Communication Law & Ethics & Interpersonal Communication

Saturday, April 1st

1:45 – 3:00 PM: Denial, Derogation, and Divisiveness after Dobbs: Communication Perspectives on a Post-Roe World: When the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the conservative majority effectively overturned nearly 50 years of constitutional precedent that afforded women the right to legal abortion. Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were scuttled and the matter of abortion was returned to individual states for adjudication. Those on the political right applauded the Dobbs decision as a long-overdue reaffirmation of the sanctity of pre-born life and the primacy of states' rights, while those on the political left argued that the Court dealt a deeply misogynistic blow to American women, stripping them of personal autonomy and inviting disastrous social consequences. The position papers offered by the participants on this panel examine the end of Roe from various communication perspectives.

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