Freedom of Expression

Course Description: 

This introductory course provides basic information on freedom of expression from a comparative and international human rights perspective. It is primarily practice oriented although a brief survey of free speech justifications (theory) is provided. It offers a case-law based understanding of censorship and a discussion of standard grounds of restriction of the right (personality rights, security, hate speech, crime etc.) Political speech will be discussed in details. In addition free speech aspects of broadcasting, internet and social media will be covered. The course aims to develop skills to handle free speech claims and to identify forms of censorship.

Learning Outcomes: 

Ability to understand speech regulation and the logic of different communication regimes.

Ability to identify unjustified grounds of speech restriction.


The final grade is based on class-participation 15%], oral / written assignments [15 %] and a written final exam 70%. Unsatisfactory oral and written assignments may result in additional written assignments. NO retake of the final exam.

The final examination is 3 hours closed book in-class exam, with multiple choice, a short essay and a hypothetical case (brief).