Cartoons Crisis, Religious Feelings and European Court of Human Rights (Las Caricaturas Sobre Mahoma Y La Jurisprudencia Del Tribunal Europeo De Los Derechos Humanos)
Juan Ferreiro Galguera
University of Coruña
Revista Electrónica de Estudios Internacionales, Vol. 12, pp. 1-40, 2006
This article deals with Freedom of Expression, which is a fundamental right, and one of its limits, respect for religious feelings, which is included within the scope of Religious Freedom, another fundamental right. We start referring in detail to the so-called crisis of cartoons, which started in Denmark in September 2005. Then we advance some reflections about the criteria elaborated by the jurisprudence of European Court of Human Rights in cases of conflict between Freedom of Expression and religious feelings, as part of Religious Freedom. After analyzing several judgments we point out two criteria: a) certain priority of freedom of expression as it is not only a human right but also a fundamental principle of democratic societies, b) three elements that must be applied to the interpretation of any limit of religious freedom or any other limit of freedom of expression: the limits must be prescribed by national law (in broad sense), they must pursue a legitimate aid, and they must be necessary in a democratic society. We end with some conclusion referring to the juridical scope of freedom of expression and the political and juridical responsibility of Mass Media in these difficult but possible equilibrium between freedom of speech and respect for religious feelings.
Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: freedom of expressions, religious feelings, cartoons crisis, civilization alliance, blasphemy, hate speech, seizure, forfeiture
JEL Classification: K33Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 6, 2007
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