The European Court of Human Rights has always defended the idea that freedom of expression has an essential role to play in a democratic society, helping to foster the development of an open, tolerant society in which human rights are respected. Freedom of expression is not absolute and unconditional, however
there are certain limits which must be respected.
How can racist, xenophobic propaganda be proscribed without trespassing on individual freedom of expression? How can a suspect's right to be presumed innocent be protected without placing restrictions on the public's right to information? Where should we draw the line concerning the criticism of politicians by the media?
It is by answering these and many similar questions over a period of more than forty years that the European Court of Human Rights has developed its case-law in respect of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, presented in summary form in this Human rights file.