The Chilling Effect of Turkey’s Article 301 Insult Law
European Human Rights Law Review, 2019, Issue 3, 298-308
23 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 25, 2019
This article discusses how the approach of the European Court of Human Rights has evolved in seeking to protect freedom of expression from the chilling effect of Turkey’s controversial Article 301 insult law. The article reveals the early reluctance within the Court in finding that the law’s provisions were incompatible with freedom of expression, and yet, the analysis now demonstrates how the Court’s concern for the chilling effect has led the Court to two adopt notable approaches: first, the Court permitting applicants to argue that the law, in and of itself, violates the European Convention on Human Rights, even where an applicant has not been convicted, nor even prosecuted under the law; and second, the Court’s application of its rarely-used competence under Article 46 of the European Convention, finding that amending Article 301 would “constitute an appropriate form of execution” of the Court’s judgment.
Keywords: freedom of expression, insult, European Convention on Human Rights
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