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About the Fair Elections and Free Speech Center at UCI Law

 To ensure fair elections, vibrant and free debate, and the rule of law in the digital age

Established in 2021 after the contentious 2020 U.S. Presidential elections, which culminated in the dangerous January 6, 2021 insurrection in the United States Capitol, the Fair Elections and Free Speech Center at UCI Law is unique in its focus among U.S. and global institutions. It is dedicated solely to advancing an understanding of, and offering means to counter, threats to the stability and legitimacy of democratic governments exacerbated by the unregulated growth of digital media and other technological changes in mass communication. The Center will facilitate deep scholarship on American law, politics, and democracy as well as on global norms and institutions.

Fundamental to the Center’s work is a belief and understanding that free speech is essential to vibrant elections, fair competition, and democratic deliberation and that it also has the potential to serve as a tool for undermining fair elections and voter confidence in such elections. Under the leadership of UCI Law Professors Richard L. Hasen and David Kaye, the Center examines key issues at both the domestic and the global levels, identifying and supporting scholarship of value.

These issues include:

  • Innovative ways that law and legal institutions can work with nongovernmental organizations and civil society to ensure fair elections and acceptance of fair election results in the face of deliberately-spread digital disinformation and inadvertent misinformation
  • The ways in which unprecedented data collection and surveillance can be used as a tool by governments, private companies, and those with data access for purposes of repression or political manipulation

The Fair Elections and Free Speech Center at UCI Law actively engages scholars, technologists, students, stakeholders, legislators and the broader public toward the development of practical solutions to actionable issues. UCI Law students participate in the Center’s work through research for reports, the filing of briefs, and supporting cross-disciplinary and transnational research and dialogue. In this way the Center fulfills a dual mission of public education and public service. 


Rabie Kadri
Law Centers Manager

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