The Importance Of Freedom Of Expression In Democracy

Decent Essays

Springer went to the European Court of Human Rights, and claimed that Germany violated its right to freedom of expression. Germany and Springer agreed that
Springer’s freedom of expression was interfered with, that the interference was prescribed by law, and that the aim of the interference was legitimate: protecting the reputation and privacy of the actor. But the parties disagreed on whether the interference with freedom of expression was ‘necessary in a democratic society’ (see
Article 10(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights).
The European Court of Human Rights confirms, as a general principle, that freedom of expression is essential for democracy:
Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and one of the basic conditions for its progress and for each individual’s selffulfilment.
Subject to paragraph 2 of Article 10, it is applicable not only to ‘information’ or ‘ideas’ that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb.
Such are the demands of pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no ‘democratic society’. As set forth in Article 10, freedom of expression is subject to exceptions, which must, however, be construed The European Court of Human Rights reaffirms that freedom of expression can be limited in view of the rights of others, such as privacy. The court agrees with the
German courts’ assessment that

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