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Freedom of speech versus human dignity: a conflict between fundamental rights

Kurtán, Eszter (2009)
Department of Law
Abstract
This thesis analyses the problem of the conflict between fundamental rights with special attention to the clash between freedom of expression and human dignity In my view the hate speech problem is a good example of this clash: the right to freedom of expression can be in conflict with other human rights, mainly with the right to human dignity. My question is: how should one solve this problem, or how should we justify the restriction of the freedom of expression in the name of the protection of human dignity? The primary purpose is to present the conflict of rights as an issue and the possible theoretical solution to it. After the introduction to the topic, I examine this general question and the theoretical answers. Afterwards the thesis... (More)
This thesis analyses the problem of the conflict between fundamental rights with special attention to the clash between freedom of expression and human dignity In my view the hate speech problem is a good example of this clash: the right to freedom of expression can be in conflict with other human rights, mainly with the right to human dignity. My question is: how should one solve this problem, or how should we justify the restriction of the freedom of expression in the name of the protection of human dignity? The primary purpose is to present the conflict of rights as an issue and the possible theoretical solution to it. After the introduction to the topic, I examine this general question and the theoretical answers. Afterwards the thesis deals with the notion of dignity, its significance in philosophical and legal thinking, international human rights documents and legal reasoning. I will try to argue for the special status of dignity in the human rights discourse, which will lead to the question of hierarchy of rights and whether the right to dignity has priority. Further, the study examines the responsibility as counterpart for human rights. This approach is especially important during the freedom of speech debate. After a brief theoretical introduction, I present my findings on the special responsibility attached to the right to freedom of expression, based on international legal instruments and previous studies. After that I will turn to the practice of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) as the best European example on how to solve the conflict between human rights and how to limit the freedom of expression. Finally, the study shifts to the specific issue of genocide denial in Europe as a typical manifestation of hate speech. After briefly presenting the phenomenon, I present the existing national laws prohibiting Holocaust (and genocide) denial with exemplary court cases. With this structure, the thesis goes from a broad and general level (the conflict of rights as such) to a more and more specific topic ending with Holocaust denial as a segment of the field. My aim was to examine the essential problem of the conflicting rights and highlight the problem of hate speech as a conflict between free speech and dignity and as an abuse of this basic civil right. (Less)
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author
Kurtán, Eszter
supervisor
organization
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
International Human Rights Law
language
English
id
1555370
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:23:30
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:23:30
@misc{1555370,
  abstract     = {This thesis analyses the problem of the conflict between fundamental rights with special attention to the clash between freedom of expression and human dignity In my view the hate speech problem is a good example of this clash: the right to freedom of expression can be in conflict with other human rights, mainly with the right to human dignity. My question is: how should one solve this problem, or how should we justify the restriction of the freedom of expression in the name of the protection of human dignity? The primary purpose is to present the conflict of rights as an issue and the possible theoretical solution to it. After the introduction to the topic, I examine this general question and the theoretical answers. Afterwards the thesis deals with the notion of dignity, its significance in philosophical and legal thinking, international human rights documents and legal reasoning. I will try to argue for the special status of dignity in the human rights discourse, which will lead to the question of hierarchy of rights and whether the right to dignity has priority. Further, the study examines the responsibility as counterpart for human rights. This approach is especially important during the freedom of speech debate. After a brief theoretical introduction, I present my findings on the special responsibility attached to the right to freedom of expression, based on international legal instruments and previous studies. After that I will turn to the practice of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) as the best European example on how to solve the conflict between human rights and how to limit the freedom of expression. Finally, the study shifts to the specific issue of genocide denial in Europe as a typical manifestation of hate speech. After briefly presenting the phenomenon, I present the existing national laws prohibiting Holocaust (and genocide) denial with exemplary court cases. With this structure, the thesis goes from a broad and general level (the conflict of rights as such) to a more and more specific topic ending with Holocaust denial as a segment of the field. My aim was to examine the essential problem of the conflicting rights and highlight the problem of hate speech as a conflict between free speech and dignity and as an abuse of this basic civil right.},
  author       = {Kurtán, Eszter},
  keyword      = {International Human Rights Law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Freedom of speech versus human dignity: a conflict between fundamental rights},
  year         = {2009},
}