Freedom of expression - Conor Gearty's challenge


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 impartiality of the judiciary.




edited on Mar 23, 2015 by Noita Sadler

ConstitutionUK Apr 10, 2015

It seems that this idea was broadly accepted but some members expressed concerns about the reservation clause in part 2 of this draft article. 

Should the right to freedom of expression be an unlimited right?  The text as it stands is the exact wording of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

Please comment to let us whether/how this right should be limited.   We have a very tight schedule so make sure to get involved asap. 

The ConstitutionUK Team  

Rob G Apr 10, 2015

Can I draw attention to this proposal, which seeks to group several rights from the Convention (which I presume have all made it through to this stage)?

My preference, for what it's worth, would be to have the separate provisions rather than the combined version drawn from the US Constitution.

On the qualifications in (2), I'm not sure how freedom of expression can threaten territorial integrity, and I'd have thought it was more likely to be abused than properly used; and I'm reluctant to retain the morals point, for the reasons I've given in

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JimF Apr 18, 2015

Can I draw attention to my proposal on general freedom at This automatically includes freedom of expression (as well as other freedoms), while permitting laws to be passed for necessary exceptions such as libel, breach of privacy, breach of national security, etc.