Freedom of Expression

European System

In recent years, the European Human Rights System has produced an important amount of cases regarding freedom of expression. These cases revolve around article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which establishes:

Article 10. Freedom of Expression

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and im-partiality of the judiciary.

What follows is a study regarding the European System prepared by the Office of the Special Rapporteur in 2003, which pays special attention to indicating the differences between the European System and the Inter-American System.



Some Relevant Cases :

Prior restraints


Subsequent liability


Safety of journalists


Incitement to hatred or violence


Restrictions on time, place and manner


Pluralismo y Diversidad


Regulation of broadcasting


Access to information