Copyright (c) 2004 Loyola of Los Angeles International & Comparative Law Review
Loyola of Los Angeles International & Comparative Law Review
NOTE AND COMMENT: Bite Your Tongue in Europe: The European Court of Human Rights Strikes a Blow to the Freedom of Expression
26 Loy. L.A. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 483
By Jessica Alexandra Van Der Kar Levinson*
"Debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open ...[it] may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials." 1 With this proclamation in New York Times v. Sullivan, the U.S. Supreme Court committed itself to shaping a legal framework that placed individual freedom of expression and freedom of expression of the press at the forefront of democratic society. Despite this sweeping decree, the U.S. Supreme Court has manipulated the free speech doctrine in order to achieve desired legal outcomes. 2 While the United States's commitment to freedom of expression is broader than any other country's jurisprudence, 3 the European Court of Human Rights ("Court") similarly manipulates the freedom of expression doctrine in order to obtain desired legal outcomes.
In 1959, the Court was created to implement the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights ("Convention"). 4 The Council of Europe, formed as a reaction to the war crimes and human rights atrocities of World War II, established the Convention in 1950 to give effect to the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 5 The purpose of the Court is to review the decisions of the Contracting States. In this way, the Court ensures that each Contracting State upholds the "democratic belief that certain fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual should not be subordinated to the power or narrow political convenience of the State." 6
Article 10 of the Convention sets forth the ...
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