Η ελευθερία έκφρασης γνώμης κατά το υπερεθνικό και εθνικό δίκαιο: ο προκλητικός και ο μισαλλόδοξος λόγος
Γεωργιάδου, Ειρήνη Π.
Ελευθερία του λόγου Freedom of speech
Πάντειο Πανεπιστήμιο Κοινωνικών και Πολιτικών Επιστημών
Freedom of expression is a vital right for the very existence of democracy. No one denies that this right deserves special protection and most of the modern liberal democracies of the world acknowledge that. Nevertheless, this protection is not absolute. It finds its limits on the protection of the rights of others and of democratic society as a whole, when there is a pressing social need. Among the restrictions on freedom of expression one should include the prohibitions of hate speech. The term ‘hate speech’ should be understood to cover all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify violence, hatred or discrimination. Hate speech laws are those which prohibit any of the three types of hate speech.The main issue of this essay is whether these bans serve a legitimate aim or whether hate speech must be protected as a kind of speech that is covered by the right to free expression. To answer this question this study pays attention to the following matters: In the first section there is a chapter that refers to the protection of freedom of expression in international and national level. There is reference to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Greek Constitution. The second chapter explains why freedom of expression is so important and deserves high level of protection. The next section is dedicated to the limitations of freedom of expression that are set to hate speech. There is a chapter that contains the basic theories for the treatment of hate speech and a chapter that describes the international and european institutions that set hate speech bans. In the third section one can find information on the jurisprudence of the European Court on Human Rights and the European Court of Justice on freedom of expression and hate speech. Finally the fourth section contains a chapter with the Greek statutes that set hate speech bans, a chapter that refers to the reports of international, Greek and non-governmental organizations that comment and stress the problems of the Greek hate speech prohibitions and a chapter that deals with the constitutionality of these statutes.The main conclusions of this survey with regard to the suppression of hate speech are the following:- hate speech will not be excluded per se from being regarded as coming with freedom of expression. The key focus will be on the permissible limitations on freedom of expression;- any restriction should be clearly and narrowly defined;- statements will not be considered in the abstract, but rather in their context;- no one should be criminally penalized for the dissemination of hate speech unless it has been shown that they did so with the intention of inciting discrimination, hostility or violence;- free and open discussion is a matter of public interest and the role of mass media in it is crucial. The right of journalists to decide how best to communicate information and ideas to the public should be respected, particularly when they are reporting on racism and intolerance;- prior censorship should not be used as a tool against hate speech;- care should be taken to apply the least intrusive and restrictive measures in recognition of the fact that there are various available measures, some of which exert less of a chilling effect on freedom of expression than others;- any imposition of sanctions should be in strict conformity with the principle of proportionality. In particular, imprisonment should be applied only as a last resort.Restrictions must be formulated in a way that makes clear that its sole purpose is to protect individuals holding specific beliefs or opinions, rather than to protect belief systems from criticism. The right to freedom of expression implies that it should be possible to scrutinize, openly debate, and criticize, even harshly and unreasonably, belief systems, opinions, and institutions, as long as this does not amount to advocating hatred against an individual.
Διπλωματική εργασία - Πάντειο Πανεπιστήμιο. Γενικό Τμήμα Δικαίου, ΠΜΣ "Δίκαιο και Ευρωπαϊκή Ενοποίηση", κατεύθυνση Δημόσιο Δίκαιο, 2006