Freedom of expression
The freedom of thought and expression is generally regarded as a Fundamental freedom of the man.
It is quoted in article 19 of the Universal declaration of the Human rights as follows:
Any individual is entitled to the freedom of thought and expression, which implies the right not to be worried for its opinions and that to seek, to receive and spread, without considerations of borders, information and the ideas by some means of expression that this soit.
In the same way, in the Declaration of the human rights and the Citizen of 1789 (article 11):
The free communication of the thoughts and the opinions is one of the most invaluable rights of the man; any citizen can thus speak, write, print freely, except answering of the abuse this freedom in the cases determined by the loi.
1 Any person is entitled to freedom of expression. This right includes/understands the freedom of thought and freedom to receive or communicate information or ideas without there being able to be interference of public authorities and without consideration of border. This article does not prevent the States from subjecting the companies of broadcasting, cinema or television to a mode of autorisations.
2 the comprising exercise of these freedoms of the duties and the responsibilities can be subjected to certain formalities, conditions, restrictions or sanctions envisaged by the law, which constitute necessary measures, in an democratic society, with the national security, the territorial integrity or public safety, the defense of the order and the prevention of the crime, the protection of health or morals, with the protection of the reputation or rights of others, to prevent the disclosure of confidential informations or to guarantee the authority and the impartiality of the capacity judiciaire.
Jurisprudence (European Court of the Human rights, January 21st, 1999, n°29183/95, Fressoz and Roire C. France):
Freedom of expression is worth not only for the “information” or “ideas” accommodated with favor or considered as inoffensive or indifferent, but also for those which run up, shock or worry: thus want it pluralism, the tolerance and the spirit of opening without which, it is not “democratic society”.
If the Universal declaration of the human rights of 1948 does not specify more particular conditions nor restrictions on this freedom of expression, however, a certain number of jurisdictions, under the aegis of the United Nations and the country adhering to it, - what is the case of the French legislation -, restrict however this freedom by prohibiting the remarks concerning incentive with the racial hate, main road or nun and the call to the murder which are offenses prohibited by the law.
It goes hand in hand with the freedom of information and more specifically the Freedom of the press, which is freedom for an owner of newspaper to say or conceal what good seems to him in its newspaper, subject to answering about it in front of the courts in the event of Diffamation or Calomnie. The calumny and the slandering being there too, restrictions imposed on the concept of freedom of expression for any public word, as the incentive with hatred and the murder.
The international Pact relating to the civil laws and political, adopted by the precise General meeting of the United Nations that freedom of expression includes/understands “freedom to seek, to receive and spread information and ideas of any species without consideration of border” (article 4.).
Importance of freedom of expression
Freedom of expression is very often the first of the freedoms eliminated in the totalitarian modes , which secure the seizure on the media and thus on the Public opinion. When it is incomplete, as in the Putsch organized in the USSR against Mikhaïl Gorbatchev, this capacity is quickly threatened.
Since the end of the 20th century, the appearance of means of communication of mass like Internet and the difficulty of the states and the Right to adapt to such technical evolutions gave on the carpet the dependant problems:
- on the one hand with the control of freedom of expression.
- in addition with possible seizures on this one (case of the China)
Freedom of expression is fundamental for the development of the concepts of Contenu free and Free software.
Limits of freedom of expression
Freedom of expression knows certain restrictions which must be expressly fixed by the Loi and which are necessary to the respect of the rights and the reputation of others.
Freedom of expression undergoes restrictions, for sedentary reasons (example: Patriot Act with the the United States) to protect the right of the individuals: fight against racial discriminations and Négationnisme (Loi Gayssot of 1990 in France), Child welfare, defense of intellectual property laws (either Royalty, or Copyright), etc
Examples of legal restrictions on freedom of expression (France): The threat to commit a crime or an offense against the people whose attempt is punishable is an offense (Article 222-17 CP). The provocation to commit a crime or an offense (Article 23 of the law of July 29th, 1881 on freedom of the press). Propaganda or publicity in favor of products, objects or methods recommended as average to give death is punished three years of imprisonment and 45000 euros fine (Article 223-14 CP). The attack with the professional secrecy (art.226-13 CP). Slandering (Article 29 of the law of July 29th, 1881 on freedom of the press).
When people of being able or institutions intervene officially or not to limit the expression, out of the cases which restrict it, one speaks about Censure. The Sex and the Violence belong to the topics most often aimed by the Censure.
Article 20 of the international Pacte relating to the civil laws and political stipulates the following limitations: “Any propaganda in favor of the war (war of aggression) is prohibited by the law. Any call to national, racial hatred or nun which constitutes an incentive with discrimination, the hostility or violence is prohibited by the law.” The diffusion of ideas based on the racial superiority or the activities of organized propaganda which encourage with the racial discrimination and which encourage it are thus contrary with the one of the goals of the United Nations.
The International convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination racial was the subject of an adhesion or a ratification on behalf of 148 States and is the principal international legal instrument aiming at fighting against racial hatred and discrimination. Under article 4 of convention, the States left begin to immediately adopt positive measures intended to eliminate any incentive with discrimination, or any act of discrimination (racial). For this purpose, they are committed declaring offenses punishable “by the law any diffusion of ideas based on the superiority or the racial hate, any incentive with racial discrimination, like all acts of violence…” and to declare “illegal and to prohibit the organizations as well as the activities of organized propaganda and any other type of activity of propaganda who incite with racial discrimination”.
In France, the law of the modified September 30th, 1986 lays out in its article first that: " the audio-visual communication is free. The exercise of this freedom can be limited only in necessary measurement on the one hand, by the respect of, freedom and property of others, the pluralist character human dignity of the expression of the currents of thought and opinion and on the other hand the safeguard of the order public". This legislative measure gave place to a broad jurisprudence of the Council of State which was to rule on the legality of the breaches of liberty of the audio-visual communication and in particular in the business " Vortex" company; where it rejected the request of the Vortex company (managing radiophonic program skyrock) which wished to make cancel a decision of the Superior council of Audio-visual (SCUMS) in which she was seen withdrawing her authorization to emit the Skyrock program for one duration of 24:00 for the attacks with the human dignity and the law and order noted during the diffusion of the emission " Monstres".
- free Posting
- Universal declaration of the human rights
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Freedom of the press
- International Freedom off Expression Exchange
- Freedom of expression: liberal point of view
- irrepressible.info - Countryside of Amnesty International against repression on Internet
- International convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination racial
Simple: Freedom off speech
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