Research Prizes

Joris V.J. van Hoboken
PhD dissertation:
Search Engine Freedom. On the Implications of the Right to Freedom of Expression for the Legal Governance of Web Search Engines.

Supervisors: Prof. dr mr N.A.N.M. van Eijk, Prof. dr mr N. Helberger
Nomination: Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam

Report of the Selection Committee
In Joris van Hoboken’s dissertation, which in the meantime has been published by Kluwer Law International, the phenomenon of search engines is placed in the context of freedom of expression. Search engines are studied from the perspective of the press, ISP’s, and libraries. It becomes clear that access to information is increasingly determined by intermediaries such as search engines. This access to information can have a significant impact on the public discourse. From the perspective of freedom of speech, Joris van Hoboken takes a nuanced position in which he describes the various interests at play here. Van Hoboken addresses a highly relevant issue in today’s society, and he has written an extraordinary dissertation.

Joris van Hoboken is Research Fellow at the Information Law Institute, New York University. His research addresses a broad range of subjects in the field of law and governance regarding electronic communication, digital media and internet. The main points of interest in his research lie in the meaning of fundamental rights to freedom of expression, privacy in the digital world and critical analysis of juridical and political developments in transatlantic perspective. He is affiliated with the Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam, where he obtained his PhD in 2012 on his study of search engines and freedom of expression. In 2008 he was Visiting Scholar at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society of Harvard University. He graduated with honours in theoretical mathematics (2002, University of Amsterdam) and in law (2006, University of Amsterdam) and is chairman of the board of the foundation Bits of Freedom. Joris regularly participates in the public debate in the media, such as the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, NRC Handelsblad, Radio 1 and NOS Journaal.