§ Lord Palmer
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights cannot be interpreted as justification for unbridled freedom of expression.
§ Baroness Chalker of Wallasey
Article 9 of the Convention guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the right to manifest one's religion or beliefs. Article 10 guarantees the right to freedom of expression. The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set out in the two articles is subject to certain limitations which are specified in the Convention. These are limitations which are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of, among other things, public safety, the prevention of disorder or crime, the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the reputation and rights and freedoms of others. The jurisprudence of the European Commission of Human Rights and European Court of Human Rights has shown that the Convention cannot be interpreted as permitting unbridled freedom of expression.