Ukraine’s Ban on Russian Social Media: On The Edge Between National Security and Freedom of Expression

Can Ukraine’s ban of Russian social media be legally justified? While the international community mostly condemns the ban, a closer look at the European Convention of Human Rights reveals that the matter is not so easy.

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The Spanish Constitutional Court on the Path of Self-Destruction

Recently, the Spanish Constitutional Court has published one more decision in application of the new reform of the Law on Constitutional Court which increased its powers for the execution of its own decisions. It is clear that Catalonian sovereignist politicians are acting irresponsibly and provoking the Spanish powers. The only good way to answer to this challenge is a balanced and neutral response of the Constitutional Court every time they adopt an illegal act. Instead, the Court assumed a political role. He tries to stop even any talk about independence. By doing so, it fails to respect its own role as keeper of a Constitutional framework where very diverse ideologies can be discussed.

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Can private undertakings hide behind “religious neutrality”?

Is the pursuit of religious neutrality an acceptable aim for public and private organisations alike, on the basis of which they may prohibit their employees from wearing religious signs or apparel whilst at work? In two pending cases before the CJEU, the Advocates General seem to arrive at opposite conclusions on this point. To solve this puzzle, I think it is crucial to see that there are two radically different reasons why a private-sector company may wish to adopt an identity of religious neutrality, which reflect two distinct types of interest a company may have in religious neutrality: a business interest and an interest as a member of society.

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Kunst ist mehr als nur Investition: zum Sampling-Urteil des BVerfG

Nach dem gestrigen Sampling-Urteil des Bundesverfassungsgerichts ist der Kunst nicht alles erlaubt, aber wieder einmal mehr, als die Gerichte außerhalb des Schloßbezirks in Karlsruhe sich vorstellen wollten. Und es gibt ein Recht ohne Rechtfertigung weniger.

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Die Causa Böhmermann: Ein Tiefpunkt und noch ein Tiefpunkt und noch ein Tiefpunkt

Die Frage, die der Fall Böhmermann aufwirft, ist nicht, ob Böhmermann sich strafbar gemacht hat oder nicht und die Bundesregierung ihre Ermächtigung zur Strafverfolgung erteilen durfte oder nicht. Sondern die Frage ist, ob es Sinn macht, in diesem Fall mit dem Recht zu kommen. Das hängt auf einer ersten und vordergründigen Ebene davon ab, ob das Recht auf diesen Fall überhaupt eine Antwort oder jedenfalls eine einigermaßen klare Antwort hat. Hat es eine Antwort?

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Causa Böhmermann: Die Rückkehr der Staatsehre?

Die Entscheidung zur Ermächtigung der deutschen Staatsanwaltschaft, gegen Jan Böhmermann ein Strafverfahren nach § 103 StGB einzuleiten, wird naturgemäß hitzig diskutiert. Über die politischen, straf- und menschenrechtlichen Aspekte hinaus weist der Fall auch eine nicht zu verachtende allgemein-völkerrechtliche Komponente auf: Die Achtung der Ehre fremder Staaten.

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Auschwitzvergleich als Beleidigung: EGMR schlägt sich auf Seite der Meinungsfreiheit

Vergleicht man den ärztlich assistierten Schwangerschaftsabbruch mit dem Holocaust, verletzt man das allgemeine Persönlichkeitsrecht des namentlich benannten, ausführenden Mediziners. Zieht man zwischen NS-Regime und Abtreibung jedoch lediglich eine Parallele, scheint dies noch von der Meinungsfreiheit umfasst zu sein. Zumindest könnte man so das gestern veröffentlichte Urteil des EGMR in der Rechtssache Annen vs. Germany verstehen.

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Dieudonné before the Strasbourg Court: Negationism isn’t freedom of expression

Satire is protected by the right to freedom of expression. Holocaust denial is not. This is the bottom line of yesterday’s decision by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of the French comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, notorious for his frequent run-ins with French courts for antisemitic speech, defamation, or advocation of terrorism, and also known for his political involvement with right-wing extremists.

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Boycott calls and double standards: another French limitation on freedom of expression

France, once the motherland of human rights, is increasingly clamping down on freedom of expression. According to a recent decision by the French Supreme Court, calling for boycott on Israeli goods is illegal under french law. Fourteen members of the activist group Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS), campaigning for the economic, academic, sports and cultural boycott of Israel, learned it the hard way in two decisions of October 20th which confirmed on the highest level of criminal jurisdiction their conviction to 12,000 € in damages and 1,000 € in fine. Joining Israel, France makes for the only european country to penalize boycott calls on products of Israeli origin.

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Perinçek v. Switzerland: Between Freedom of Speech and Collective Dignity

In its recent Grand Chamber decision "Perinçek v Switzerland" the ECtHR, once again, declares Armenian genocide denial protected against criminal prosecution by the right to free speech. The Court substantially disregards the specific atmosphere of denialism and gross violations of the rights of minorities in Turkey, moving central attention instead to Switzerland where – supposedly – no tensions are possible on the anti-Armenian grounds. The Court has failed to acknowledge the existence of the anti-Armenianism as a specific ideology prevalent amongst Turkish and Azeri nationalists, including those scattered in huge Turkish diasporas in Europe these days.

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