Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights

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Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides the right to freedom of expression and information, subject to certain restrictions that are "in accordance with law" and "necessary in a democratic society". This right includes the freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart information and ideas.


The licensing exception[edit]

The provision about "licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises", i.e. the state’s right to license the media companies, was included because of the limited number of available frequencies and the fact that, at that time, most European states had a monopoly of broadcasting and television. Later Court decision held that due to "the technical progress in the last decades, the justification of these restrictions cannot be made by reference to the number of available frequencies and channels." The public monopolies within the audiovisual media were seen by the Court as contrary to Article 10, primarily because they cannot provide a plurality of sources of information.[1]

The Court also held that devices for receiving broadcasting information, such as satellite dishes, do not fall under the restriction provided for in the last sentence of the first paragraph.[1]

Case law[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Monica Macovei. "A guide to the implementation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.", Human rights handbooks, No. 2, January 2004. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  • Joanna Krzeminska-Vamvaka, Freedom of commercial speech in Europe, Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovac 2008 - comparative analysis of commercial speech regulation in the US, EU, under ECHR, in Germany and Poland with the comparison of general freedom of speech theory

External links[edit]