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The protection of artistic expression under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights


Aernout J. Nieuwenhuis

More than once, the European Court of Human Rights (hereafter: ECtHR) has attended to cases concerning novels, movies, paintings and other forms of artistic expression. The Court has tried to fit in artistic expression in its more general approach that often makes a decisive distinction between contributions to public debate and other publications. Recent cases however suggest that artistic expression as such deserves substantial protection. Therefore, the question arises what this protection might be. This article will try to answer that question by analyzing the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.


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