Limits of Freedom of Expression in English Law Essays

Limits of Freedom of Expression in English Law Essays

Length: 969 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

What are the limits of freedom of expression in English law? Are they satisfactory?
Article 10 of the European convention of human rights holds “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises” This is enshrined in UK law through the Human rights act 1998. Article 10 amounts to a clear protection of all forms of communication ranging from verbal to visual and a firm recognition of the importance afforded to one’s ability express oneself in a democratic society. Key Liberal theorists such as JS Mill place an extensive focus on freedom of expression as a key part of the fulfilment of the individual. Need a key quote from on Liberty.

Like most rights however article 10 is qualified (potentially mention intro to media section etc) , section 10(1) stating that “Article [10] shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises”. In effect “Licencing” amounts to a form of censorship and is therefore a limitation on freedom of expression with regards to the rights of the media in the UK. Licencing takes two distinct forms. Content-based licencing, an example of which is the licencing required by cinemas to screen movies and Activity-based licencing, a format that is employed with regards to radio and television . While there is no definitive evidence for Licencing being a direct challenge to free speech it is easy to see how both these systems could be open to abuse by the executive. A government could po...


... middle of paper ...


...at of prejudicial publications. This is not an issue of freedom of speech alone, but also an issue to a fair trial, as a citizen of the UK we have the right to a fair trial before a jury of our peers under section 6 of the ECHR. This would be made impossible if large scale public discussions were taking place revolving around the case in question via the media, allegations and speculation that influence the jury’s decision could be made potentiality creating a miscarriage of justice. Again the question is one of proportionality and the courts must be careful in weighing up article 6 against article 10 in order to provide a socially equitable solution. The issue of prejudicial publication was throw under the media spotlight in the case of Sunday Times v UK . In this case the European Court of Human Rights held that the UK did not strike this balance effectively



Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Freedom of Expression is Essential in a Democratic Society Essay

- Freedom of expression involves a number of aspects which are regulated under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is thought to be essential in a free and democratic society. Article 10 describes freedom of expression as having the freedom to hold an opinion or express a view without intervention from public authority . However, this right is not an absolute right as there are a number of formalities, restrictions and conditions placed on the right to freedom of expression. A number of legal restrictions have been put into place to protect national security, public safety, for the prevention of disorder, which may lead to crime, protection of public health and morals , p...   [tags: judicial, journalist, article 10]

Better Essays
1798 words (5.1 pages)

Freedom of Expression Is Vital to a Free Society Essay

- The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Does this mean that freedom of speech cannot be prohibited in any way. Are there any reasonable arguments for limiting speech. In this paper, these questions will be examined along with a discussion of where the basic right of free speech originated....   [tags: argumentative]

Better Essays
1115 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Celebrities' Privacy vs. Freedom of Expression

- Introduction Celebrities as public figures publish more information than ordinary people, and at the same time, the public is eager to pry into their private life through the media, but it is easy to clash with each other. Therefore, it is worth discussing whether the law should take celebrities’ privacy as priority or the right to freedom of expression when conflicts happen. This essay illustrates the development and current status of privacy laws in US, UK and China as well as analyses the application in social media....   [tags: self-determination, privacy]

Better Essays
2092 words (6 pages)

Freedom Of Speech : An Essential Part Of A Democratic Society

- Although freedom of speech is regarded by many as an essential part of a democratic society, there is ongoing debate as to how far this right should extend, and whether it is acceptable to place limitations upon the right on the grounds that the speech could be classified as “hate speech”. Hate speech is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “speech expressing hatred or intolerance of other social groups”. This covers a wide array of language, from racist or homophobic language, through to the publication of unsavoury views such as holocaust denialism....   [tags: Human rights, Democracy, Freedom of speech]

Better Essays
784 words (2.2 pages)

English Only Movement Essay

- The ongoing debate across our great and diverse nation is whether there should be enacted into law an official native tongue: that being English. Throughout the world, the United States has been viewed throughout its existence as a nation to be a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities unlike any seen before. Since the time of the settlers, one could take notice quite easily the German Jagerhaus, the British Pubs, as well as the Italian eateries- each flared with a distinct flavor and language. This vast difference seen is what makes America unique....   [tags: Language ]

Better Essays
994 words (2.8 pages)

Freedom Of Speech : The American Bill Of Rights

- Freedom of Speech The First Amendment was ratified along with the American Bill of Rights in 1791. It is deprived from the English Bill of Rights, but there is a major difference. The English Bill of Rights only stretched the freedom of speech for Parliament, but the American Bill of Rights provided the right for all citizens ("First Amendment Freedom" 1). Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers believed that all citizens should have no restrictions on what they wanted to say. This building belief was and still is essential for democracy to thrive ("First Amendment and" 1)....   [tags: First Amendment to the United States Constitution]

Better Essays
1088 words (3.1 pages)

Liberty of Verbal Expression Essay

- The principle of non-harm was brought forth by James Stuart Mill in On Liberty by introducing two different spheres that make up life. The spheres were private and public. A meaningful life is found when a maximum private sphere is present because decisions are personally beneficial. Democratic historical and social context give background to why the non-harm principle was so revolutionary. The non-harm principle can be applied to freedom of speech in that harm by words only occurs when the result is instant physical harm....   [tags: James Stuart Mill, On Liberty]

Better Essays
2738 words (7.8 pages)

Essay on Developments in the Law Surrounding an Action for Breach of Confidence

- Developments in the Law Surrounding an Action for Breach of Confidence In this essay I will argue that the developments in the law surrounding an action for breach of confidence have not drawn an equitable and acceptable balance between the privacy of, and free expression about, public figures due to the evolutionary nature of common law. Furthermore, due to the unwillingness of the judiciary to address an independent tort of privacy it may well be time for the Government to legislate....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1933 words (5.5 pages)

Essay about Putting a Face on Freedom

- Putting a Face on Freedom What is Freedom. Freedom in and of itself defies definition since its very essence and parameters can be shown only with its constraints and limitations. If one state of being is unable to stand on its own merits and must rely on another to have structure, can it never truly be “free.” Therein lies the irony: freedom is forever encapsulated by its limitations, regardless of its range. Without evident barriers, it could not exist. If it is within barriers, can it truly exist....   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Papers]

Free Essays
1852 words (5.3 pages)

Freedom of Cyber-Speech

- Freedom of Cyber-Speech        Freedom of speech has always been an important issue in American society.  With the advent of the Internet as a high-speed communication device, this issue has become even more prominent in recent years.  This paper will explore the issue of whether the Internet should be censored. Additionally, it will investigate possible methods for undertaking this censorship.               Since 1787, the Constitution has been integral part of American society.  The First Amendment to the Constitution, passed in 1791, reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speec...   [tags: Internet Censorship Essay]

Better Essays
2093 words (6 pages)