Communicative Freedoms in the European Union and in the European Convention of Human Rights; Privacy Protection in the EU and Council of Europe
The course aims to provide the student with a comprehensive assessment of the freedom of expression jurisprudence of the European human rights regime. Students will get familiarised with the most important areas of the relevant case law of the European Court of Human Rights, and with the main tenets of relevant European Union jurisprudence which is just starting to flourish.
As freedom of expression certainly belongs to the most theorised human rights, the course starts out with an overview of the main free speech theories (constitutive, instrumental, self-government/democratic, marketplace of ideas, critical theories, etc.) independent of any given jurisdiction before going into thematic issues of communicative freedoms. The bulk of the course material consists of classic issues of freedom of expression. Herewith belong crucial decisions of European courts on political speech, defamation of public figures, the general issue of the clash between honour protection and free expression, permissible limits on hate speech, pornography, or blasphemy; prior restraints, commercial speech, freedom of art; the limits of totalitarian propaganda and protection of national symbols; and the human rights law of classic and newer means of communication, such as the press, audio-visual media, or the internet. The course will also discuss the relation between governmental secrecy, national security and freedom of expression, as well as the application of the doctrine of margin of appreciation to expression and the case law on Art. 17, i.e. abuse of the right (to freedom of expression). Further communicative freedoms will be discusses in the light of the recently blooming Strasbourg case law on freedom of assembly, also compared with the ECJ’s Schmidberger decision exposing the tension between fundamental freedoms and fundamental rights. Freedom of association in Europe will be largely studied from the perspective of militant democracy and transitology, bearing in mind certain inadmissibility or Art. 17 case law e.g. in dissolution decisions, and similar cases decided on the merits.
The course also aims to introduce the student to the privacy protection documents and jurisprudence of the European human rights regime. The students will be provided a comprehensive critical analysis of the prevailing regulatory trends at the European level. During the classes students gain an insight into the international regulations and the relevant documents in the field of privacy protection. Data protection under the European human rights protection regime was initially granted in the frame of privacy protection in the general human rights documents, and later the sectoral international human rights documents also specified it (CoE Data Protection Convention). As regards general human rights instruments, the adoption of the Charter of Fundamental Rights was a milestone because it explicitly included not only the protection of privacy but also data protection. The students will analyse changes in the case law and the process whereby through the application of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights the European Court of Human Rights has ensured a more efficient enforcement of data protection. The course also assesses the case law and role of the European Court of Justice in interpreting the Data Protection Directive.
Students will thus get familiarised with the most important CoE and European Union documents and areas of the relevant case law of the European Court of Human Rights, and with the main tenets of relevant European Union jurisprudence.
The objective of the course is to enable students to master the extraordinary diversity of communicative rights jurisprudence, enabling them to analyse and distinguish the different argumentation methods applicable in different areas, to assess any changes in time, and trends to be expected. Semester assignments will invite a critical reflection on recent tendencies of case law, and the course will overall prepare the student for a critical comparative assessment of the European attitude toward freedom of expression with other regional and universal human rights approaches. A further objective of the course is to enable students to learn the European (CoE, European Union) documents of privacy protection and European jurisprudence, enabling them to analyse and distinguish between the different argumentation methods applicable in different areas, to assess changes in time, and trends to be expected. The assignments will invite a critical reflection on tendencies of case law, and the course will overall prepare the student for a critical comparative assessment of European documents.
- Eric Barendt, Why protect free speech? In Id., Freedom of Speech, 2nd ed, 2005, ISBN 978-0-19-924451-5, pp. 1-39.
- Alastair Mowbray, Cases, Materials, and Commentary on the European Convention of Human Rights, Oxford, 2012, ISBN 978-0-19-957736-1, pp. 627-786.
- William B.T. Mock, ed., Human rights in Europe : commentary on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Durham, N.C. : Carolina Academic Press, c2010, ISBN 978-1-59460-648-9, pp. 72-88.
- James D. Dimnage & Jean-Luc Lafinneur, The Constitutional Law of the European Union, LexisNexis, 3rd ed., 2012, ISBN 978-0-7698-4600-2, pp. 1105-1110
- Richard Posner: The right of privacy, Georgia Law Review 1978, 12 (3), 393–422. ISSN: 0016-8300
- Jon L. Mills: Privacy the Lost Right, Oxford University Press, 2008, ISBN-10: 0195367359
- Alastair Mowbray: Cases, Materials, and Commentary on the European Convention of Human Rights, Oxford, 2012, ISBN 978-0-19-957736-1.
- William B.T. Mock (ed.): Human rights in Europe: commentary on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Durham, N.C. : Carolina Academic Press, c2010, ISBN 978-1-59460-648-9.
- Ferdinand David Schoeman: Privacy and Social Freedom, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN-10: 0521415640.
- Jan Barcz ed., Fundamental Rights Protection in the European Union, C.H. Beck, Warsaw 2009, ISBN 978-83-255-0606-3
- Ivan Hare & James Weinstein, Extreme Speech and Democracy, Oxford, 2009, ISBN 978-0-19-954878-1
- David Krezmer & Francine Kerhsman Hazan eds., Freedom of Speech and Incitement Against Democracy, Kluwer Law International, 2000, ISBN 90-411-1341-X
- Catharine A. MacKinnon, Only Words, Harvard, 1993, ISBN 978-0-674-63933-1.
- András Sajó, ed., Free to Protest. Constituent Power and Street Demonstrations, Eleven, 2009, ISBN 978-90-77596-64-7
- András Sajó, ed., Censorial Sensitivities. Free Speech and Religion in a Fundamentalist World, Eleven, 2007, ISBN 978-90-77596-21-0
- Thomas Scanlon, "A Theory of Freedom of Expression”, Philosophy and Public Affairs 1, No.2 (1972), 204-226.
- Jeremy Waldron, The Harm in Hate Speech, Harvard, 2012, ISBN 9780674065895
- Richard Posner: The economics of privacy. The American Economic Review 1981,71 (2), 405–409. ISSN: 0002-8282.
- Anne Wells Branscomb: Who owns information? From Privacy to Public Access, Basic Books, 1994. ISBN-10: 046509144X
- László Majtényi: Ensuring data protection in East-Central Europe, Social Research, 2002, 69, 1, 8-25. ISSN: 0037-783X
- James D. Dimnage & Jean-Luc Lafinneur, The Constitutional Law of the European Union, LexisNexis, 3rd ed., 2012, ISBN 978-0-7698-4600-2, 1105-1110