Freedom of speech & expression

Right to freedom of expression holds a special place in the system of human rights and freedoms and is sometimes referred to as the “right of the rights” (right that guarantees all other rights). The reason is simple: none of the other rights can be guaranteed without the right of freedom of expression and information; this right is of utmost importance for securing pluralism and self-governance in a democratic society.

According to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, everyone has the right to freedom of expression and this right includes the freedom to:


  1. hold opinions,
  2. receive and impart information and ideas

without interference by public authorities and regardless of frontiers.

The right guaranteed under Article 10 of the Convention may be subject to restrictions 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 reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary, only in cases where such restriction meets the following criteria, all at once:

  • Is prescribed by law;
  • Serves the achievement of a legitimate aim;
  • Is necessary in a democratic society.

Guarantees of the Freedom of Speech and Expression