Strasbourg Observers

View posts from: Freedom of Expression

  • Yaman Akdeniz

The Calm Before the Storm? The Inadmissibility Decision in Wikimedia Foundation v. Turkey

April 18, 2022

On 24 March 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter ‘the European Court’) found the Wikimedia Foundation’s application inadmissible in relation to an access blocking decision involving Wikipedia, issued by a single judge in Turkey which lasted 2 years 8 months and 24 days. This article will provide a critical overview of the legal […]

  • Dirk Voorhoof

OOO Memo v. Russia: ECtHR prevents defamation claims by executive bodies

April 01, 2022

By Dirk Voorhoof, Human Rights Centre UGent and Legal Human Academy The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has recently delivered a judgment in which, for the first time, it refers to the notion of SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation). In its judgment of 15 March 2022 in the case of OOO Memo v. […]

  • Ayşe Bingöl Demir

Akdeniz and others v Turkey: The ECtHR adopts a regressive interpretation of victim status in cases concerning injunctions contra mundum

November 05, 2021

By Ayşe Bingöl Demir On 5 May 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (‘the Court’) handed down yet another judgment against Turkey finding a violation of Article 10 – freedom of expression – of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the Convention’). Akdeniz and others v. Turkey concerned a general ban on the dissemination […]

  • Tobias Mortier

Preventing disorder or silencing political opposition? On (the lack of) legitimate aims in Dareskizb Ltd v. Armenia

October 29, 2021

By Tobias Mortier A little political tension in an electoral context is not uncommon. However, the Armenian presidential elections in 2008 were nothing short of riotous. The Court has already dealt with numerous cases in which the events surrounding these elections were contested. For instance, in the case of Mushegh Saghatelyan v. Armenia, the Court […]

  • Ignatius Yordan Nugraha

‘It’s just a prank, bro!’ ZB v. France and a dark humour that turned sour

October 12, 2021

Ignatius Yordan Nugraha ‘September 11th Two Thousand-Fun!’ This phrase was uttered by Peter Griffin in a Family Guy episode, Back to the Woods, while pretending to be James Woods to smear his name, in a clear reference to the 9/11 attacks against the United States of America in 2001. This sort of joke may be […]

  • Juncal Montero Regules

Of statues and Santa Claus: does Article 10 protect hooliganism acts on a historical figure’s statue?

August 25, 2021

By Juncal Montero Regules, PhD fellow of Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) at the faculty of Law, Hasselt University On 6 April 2021, the Fourth Section of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, the Court) held that a non-criminal conviction for placing Santa Claus accessories on a communist leader’s statue in the context of nation-wide […]

  • Xavier Farré Fabregat

Tőkés v. Romania: the struggle to identify the form and content that objectify a flag within the right to freedom of expression

August 09, 2021

By Xavier Farré Fabregat, research assistant at IPERG (Universitat de Barcelona) Introduction The political articulation of minorities in a centrist and hierarchical State can challenge pre-designed institutional responses, (over)stretching the limits of rights and duties held by citizens and the State. In the present case, the display of two minority flags by former politician Lázló […]

  • Guest Blogger

Demirtas v. Turkey: an exploration of the dissenting opinions and the Court’s oversights

April 19, 2021

By Hakan Kaplankaya, former Turkish diplomat, jurist, INSTITUDE member On December 22, 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR/the Court) delivered a landmark judgment against Turkey regarding the prolonged-detention of Selahattin Demirtaş, former leader of pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP). Unlike the 2nd Section of the Court, which has mostly taken a restrained and […]

  • Guest Blogger

Behar and Budinova v. Bulgaria: The Rights of Others in Cases of Othering – Anti-victim bias in ECHR hate speech law?

April 15, 2021

By Margarita S. Ilieva, a strategic equality and human rights litigator with extensive experience in hate speech. She litigated Behar,  Budinova and Panayotova and Others v. Bulgaria, and other landmark cases like Yordanova v. Bulgaria and Karaahmed v. Bulgaria. The author was the architect of the cases discussed below, having brought them domestically in 2005 and lodged them with the […]

  • Guest Blogger

Yes, Prime Minister (bis): prosecution for satirical collage criticising Turkish prime minister’s foreign policy violated artist’s freedom of expression

March 19, 2021

Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof On 2 February 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) unanimously found that the criminal proceedings against an artist’s satirical collage ‘insulting’ the Turkish Prime Minister violated his right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In an earlier case (Tuşalp […]

  • Guest Blogger

Is begging speech? Assessing Judge Keller’s concurring opinion in Lăcătuş v. Switzerland

February 12, 2021

By Dr Dimitrios Kagiaros, Assistant Professor in Public Law and Human Rights, University of Durham In its judgment in Lăcătuş v. Switzerland, the European Court of Human Rights (‘the Court’) held that fining and imprisoning the applicant for begging amounted to a violation of Article 8 of the Convention. While the judgment raises many important issues […]

  • Guest Blogger

A Judgment to Be Reckoned with: Demirtaş v. Turkey (no. 2) [GC] and the ECtHR’s Stand Against Autocratic Legalism

February 05, 2021

By Ezgi Yildiz, Project Lead and Postdoctoral Researcher at the Global Governance Centre, the Graduate Institute, Geneva The recent Demirtaş v. Turkey (no. 2) [GC] judgment (application no. 14305/17) stands out not only for its substance but also its tone. The judgment provides an unequivocal solution to the protracted political crisis in Turkey concerning the […]

  • Guest Blogger

A misconceived balance by the domestic courts in Dupate v. Latvia

January 21, 2021

By Evangellos Orestis Vouvonikos (Phd in Public Law, University of Athens, Attorney in Law) Introduction On the 19th November 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered its judgment in Dupate v. Latvia (application no. 18068/11). In this case, the ECtHR dealt with an alleged violation of respect of the applicant’s private life (Article 8 of European […]

  • Guest Blogger

Insulting accusation of domestic violence

January 05, 2021

By Dirk Voorhoof and Inger Høedt-Rasmussen (*) The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), delivered an interesting judgment in the case of Tölle v. Croatia about insulting allegations of domestic violence. In a newspaper article a father accused an association to be responsible for his child’s abduction by the mother. The president of this association […]

  • Guest Blogger

Sabuncu and Others v. Turkey: the final chapter of the Cumhuriyet Trial?

December 14, 2020

Matteo Mastracci, Ph.D. Researcher at Koç University, and reporter for Oxford Reports on International Law (ORIL) In a long-awaited decision, the European Court of Human Rights finally ruled on 10 November 2020 on the case of Sabuncu and Others v. Turkey. The case, better known as the Cumhuriyet trial, named after the newspaper in which […]

  • Guest Blogger

The Strasbourg Court Establishes Standards on Blocking Access to Websites

August 26, 2020

Atakan Güngördü is a qualified attorney in Turkey, currently pursuing an Adv. LL.M. in European and International Human Rights Law at Leiden University. On 23 June 2020, European Court of Human Rights (the “Strasbourg Court” or the “Court”) delivered no less than four judgments against Russia (OOO Flavus and Others v. Russia, Bulgakov v. Russia, […]

  • Guest Blogger

Irony in Court: Marina v. Romania

August 17, 2020

By Dr Alberto Godioli* Introduction Due to its inherent link with elusiveness and ambiguity, humour makes it particularly difficult to draw a line between lawful and unlawful expression. The task of assessing the harm in a joke is notoriously complicated by strategies such as exaggeration, distortion or irony, which are typical of humorous expression in […]

  • Guest Blogger

Defamation proceedings against Romanian MEP over anti-corruption comments violated Article 10

August 11, 2020

By Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof On 28 July 2020, the European Court of Human Rights held in Monica Macovei v. Romania that defamation proceedings against a sitting Member of the European Parliament violated the politician’s right to freedom of expression, under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court reiterated […]

  • Guest Blogger

No Room for Homophobic Hate Speech Under the EHCR: Carl Jóhann Lilliendahl v. Iceland

June 26, 2020

By Giulio Fedele (University of Rome “La Sapienza”, giulio.fedele@uniroma1.it) Hate-speech against sexual minorities has become a pressing issue for the ECHR. Online media and social platforms boosted the possibilities one has to express both personal opinions and hateful comments, thus making it harder for the Strasbourg Court to draw the line of the protection afforded […]

  • Guest Blogger

The Recent ECtHR Judgment Kövesi v. Romania. Reactions of Romanian Authorities and Implications regarding the Rule of Law

June 16, 2020

By Dragoș Călin In the recent judgment in the case Kövesi v. Romania (application no. 3594/19) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial) and Article 10 (right to freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights […]

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