Is there a European ACLU? Campaign to alter ECHR Article 10?

MichaelR

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Messages
1,924
Hello,

I wonder if there is an European organization with a focus similar to the ACLU. There are attempts to censor controversial expression online and offline - isn't there a group standing against it, so I could join?

Europe's fundamental human rights treaty,the European Convention of Human Rights, is deeply deficient in the area of freedom of speech:

Article 10 – Freedom of expression

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
Paragraph 2 effectively negates any and all freedom of expression. These "interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals" are the typical justifications for censorships by dictatorships and authoritarian states. I have to note that this was agreed in 1950 with Ireland's participation; sadly the Irish might have played a role in crating this unacceptable formula.

I would like to join a campaign against censorship in the EU, with the ultimate aim of amending the Charter removing most of the items in (2). Ideally it should become a European form of the First Amendment.

This would also help with fighting blatant censorship in places like Ukraine, which claim to want to be "European" but go arresting "separatist" bloggers and journalists. But it's very much not just about Eastern Europe; places like Germany and France have significant censorship, too.

Is there any group I can join?
 


MichaelR

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Messages
1,924
Thanks!

Now, the content is not exactly what I was thinking of. I had a general feeling (not provable as yet) that they might prove to be more invested in banning "hate speech" than promoting freedom of any speech, besides there might be a political bias (Belarusian attacks on journalists, present. Ukrainian, not present). But that also might just be about whoever finds the time to write, so I'll try asking around there.
 

GDPR

1
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
217,846
Thanks!

Now, the content is not exactly what I was thinking of. I had a general feeling (not provable as yet) that they might prove to be more invested in banning "hate speech" than promoting freedom of any speech, besides there might be a political bias (Belarusian attacks on journalists, present. Ukrainian, not present). But that also might just be about whoever finds the time to write, so I'll try asking around there.
ECHR is an international treaty. Explain how it will be amended. :)
 

stopdoingstuff

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
22,399
Is there a paranoid and cranky version of the European Liberties Platform I could join?
 

MichaelR

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Messages
1,924
ECHR is an international treaty. Explain how it will be amended. :)
With a supplemental treaty? Perhaps in the EU framework as opposed to Council of Europe? Or perhaps CoE anyway.

There would be significant German opposition, as Germany has a lot of censorship, so it's no easy feat. If it's CoE, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey are not going to be happy with the idea either. But then. the campaign to abolish slavery in the British Empire took 40+ years.
 

McDave

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Messages
13,520
Hello,

I wonder if there is an European organization with a focus similar to the ACLU. There are attempts to censor controversial expression online and offline - isn't there a group standing against it, so I could join?

Europe's fundamental human rights treaty,the European Convention of Human Rights, is deeply deficient in the area of freedom of speech:



Paragraph 2 effectively negates any and all freedom of expression. These "interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals" are the typical justifications for censorships by dictatorships and authoritarian states. I have to note that this was agreed in 1950 with Ireland's participation; sadly the Irish might have played a role in crating this unacceptable formula.

I would like to join a campaign against censorship in the EU, with the ultimate aim of amending the Charter removing most of the items in (2). Ideally it should become a European form of the First Amendment.

This would also help with fighting blatant censorship in places like Ukraine, which claim to want to be "European" but go arresting "separatist" bloggers and journalists. But it's very much not just about Eastern Europe; places like Germany and France have significant censorship, too.

Is there any group I can join?
All freedoms are subject to public policy exceptions. Freedom of expression is no different.

The real safeguard is an ethical and fair exercise of democracy, which allows people to go about their normal business unhindered. There's no universal intrinsic systemic safeguard against dictatorship or authoritarianism other than local or national vigilance, or external intervention if the effects of such dictatorship or authoritarianism spill over borders.

We have some pretty good examples today of where ostensibly democratic societies themselves lose their internal balance or bearings, and visibly go off the rails, and all through fair and transparent voting exercises. Sometimes it's the very exercise of freedoms which compromises those societies.

Examples in this part of the world: first and foremost, Turkey; second rank deteriorations, Hungary and Poland. Turkey is officially abusing freedoms to compromise inclusive democratic values and bring sectarian values to the fore. Hungary is using flaws in its system to give excessive weight to the executive, including getting once-off voter endorsements to copperfasten centralism. Poland's current travails are the direct result of a conservative election outcome achieved through a certain amount of deception as to the true nature of the government to come, and is probably best placed to ride out and reverse its problems.

I don't think the interests of the vast majority of reasonably stable European democracies would be served by the removal of public policy safeguards. I doubt their removal would make one whit of a difference to someone like Erdogan.
 

Trainwreck

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
26,416
All freedoms are subject to public policy exceptions. Freedom of expression is no different.

Wow. Nice totalitarian attitude you got their buddy.

I am always amazed by people who hold attitudes like yours. You seem so smugly assured that the "public policy exception" will never be anything you hold to be valuable and the powers to determine what is a "public policy exception" will rest with you or someone who thinks exactly like you.

Some freedoms have defined limits, where they impinge on other freedoms.
 

RasherHash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Messages
24,531
All freedoms are subject to public policy exceptions. Freedom of expression is no different.

The real safeguard is an ethical and fair exercise of democracy, which allows people to go about their normal business unhindered. There's no universal intrinsic systemic safeguard against dictatorship or authoritarianism other than local or national vigilance, or external intervention if the effects of such dictatorship or authoritarianism spill over borders.

We have some pretty good examples today of where ostensibly democratic societies themselves lose their internal balance or bearings, and visibly go off the rails, and all through fair and transparent voting exercises. Sometimes it's the very exercise of freedoms which compromises those societies.

Examples in this part of the world: first and foremost, Turkey; second rank deteriorations, Hungary and Poland. Turkey is officially abusing freedoms to compromise inclusive democratic values and bring sectarian values to the fore. Hungary is using flaws in its system to give excessive weight to the executive, including getting once-off voter endorsements to copperfasten centralism. Poland's current travails are the direct result of a conservative election outcome achieved through a certain amount of deception as to the true nature of the government to come, and is probably best placed to ride out and reverse its problems.

I don't think the interests of the vast majority of reasonably stable European democracies would be served by the removal of public policy safeguards. I doubt their removal would make one whit of a difference to someone like Erdogan.

You can't trust lying, cheating, stealing politicians to set the limits to freedom. Most of the goms in the Dáil are like used car salesmen, we are unfortunately lumbered with a very low quality people exemplified by the Burkes, Lawlors, Lowry's and Noonans.

Really, would you trust any of these people with the freedom of your children or their basic civil rights?
 

Mad as Fish

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
24,185
Wow. Nice totalitarian attitude you got their buddy.

I am always amazed by people who hold attitudes like yours. You seem so smugly assured that the "public policy exception" will never be anything you hold to be valuable and the powers to determine what is a "public policy exception" will rest with you or someone who thinks exactly like you.

Some freedoms have defined limits, where they impinge on other freedoms.
McDave is what we might call a 'statist', one who believes in the right and the might of the state above all other considerations. His type have been the backbone of oppressive regimes throughout history and their attitude is based on a feeling of insecurity and cowardliness, which is fair enough, we can't all be heroes, but they try to alleviate their own misery by attempting to foist it upon others so that they weakness may be cloaked by making a virtue of it.
 

Clanrickard

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
33,161
I don't think the interests of the vast majority of reasonably stable European democracies would be served by the removal of public policy safeguards. I doubt their removal would make one whit of a difference to someone like Erdogan.

If we had a similar to clause to the magnificent First Amendment in the US constitution it would make a big difference.
 

McDave

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Messages
13,520
If we had a similar to clause to the magnificent First Amendment in the US constitution it would make a big difference.
That's an interesting proposition. However, the US Constitution is essentially grounded on the consensus approach and mutual understanding of Anglo-Saxon property owners a la Madison. It's questionable as to whether the First Amendment can stand up to the stresses of the US as it's currently constituted culturally and racially.
 

McDave

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Messages
13,520
Wow. Nice totalitarian attitude you got their buddy.

I am always amazed by people who hold attitudes like yours. You seem so smugly assured that the "public policy exception" will never be anything you hold to be valuable and the powers to determine what is a "public policy exception" will rest with you or someone who thinks exactly like you.

Some freedoms have defined limits, where they impinge on other freedoms.
You obviously find it hard to read beyond the first line, don't you. :)

It does explain why you know so little. Including grasping the simple reality that freedoms are not absolute. And why political systems/societies typically provide for public policy exceptions to general freedoms. For instance on public order or morality.

Politically, you really are an infant.
 

McDave

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Messages
13,520
You can't trust lying, cheating, stealing politicians to set the limits to freedom. Most of the goms in the Dáil are like used car salesmen, we are unfortunately lumbered with a very low quality people exemplified by the Burkes, Lawlors, Lowry's and Noonans.

Really, would you trust any of these people with the freedom of your children or their basic civil rights?
That's why they are usually set down in documents like constitutions. And generally left to be vindicated by courts.
 

McDave

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Messages
13,520
McDave is what we might call a 'statist', one who believes in the right and the might of the state above all other considerations. His type have been the backbone of oppressive regimes throughout history and their attitude is based on a feeling of insecurity and cowardliness, which is fair enough, we can't all be heroes, but they try to alleviate their own misery by attempting to foist it upon others so that they weakness may be cloaked by making a virtue of it.
The royal 'we' being an anarchist, right wing nutter, or dumb troll.
 

Passer-by

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
1,428
Europe's fundamental human rights treaty,the European Convention of Human Rights, is deeply deficient in the area of freedom of speech:
It clearly isn't since we have enjoyed freedom of expression for decades here in Europe.

Are you actually in the US by any chance? Or merely reading American views and deciding their norms trump ours?
 

Mad as Fish

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
24,185


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top