عنوان مقاله [English]
The European Convention on Human Rights: The Right to Freedom of Expression and Information Restricted by Duties and Responsibilities in a Democratic Society
Article 10 of the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the case law by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg help to secure the right to freedom of expression and information in the European democracies. This paper explores some characteristics and recent developments of the European Court’s case law regarding media, journalism and freedom of expression and information. It explains, also for a readership outside Europe, what the (actual) impact is of the European Convention and of the European Court of Human Rights on the practice of freedom of expression, media and journalism in Europe. Although Article 10 in principle prohibits interferences by public authorities with the right to freedom of expression, it leaves open some possibilities and margin for State authorities to limit, restrict or sanction certain types of expressions or media-content, due to the “duties and responsibilities” related to communicating ideas and information. This paper, in its first part, clarifies under which circumstances and conditions state interferences with the right to freedom of expression and information can be justified under the European Human Rights system. The second part of the paper will focus on the added value created by the European Court’s (recent) jurisprudence by safeguarding public debate and reporting on matters of public interest, by protecting investigative journalism, whistle-blowing and journalistic sources, and by guaranteeing access to information held by public authorities.