Judgements of the European Court of Human Rights on The Freedom of Expression: A Compendium of Legal Cases

Published: 19 February 2018

The publication entitled Judgements of the European Court of Human Rights: A Compendium of Legal Cases contains brief summaries in Hungarian of nearly 450 decisions by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Selected for the Compendium were legal cases from before a cut-off point of 30 June 2016, and our aim was to give readers and users an understanding of the ECHR’s wide ranging judicial practices concerning the freedom of expression. By putting together this Compendium, we sought to offer interested users receptive to the issues of freedom of speech and the freedom of the press a concise presentation of the most important judgements, making it easier for them to plan and start their research. We made these judgements available online for the above reason and also in order to make it fast and simple to access them.

In fact, we publish the Compendium of legal cases in two arrangements. One follows a thematic structure, whereby the compendium authors aim to help and guide the user. We have arranged the cases in the following three main chapters within this thematic structure. As an organizing principle for Chapter I, we selected the legitimate interests countering the freedom of expression and underlying its constraints. Chapter II deals with freedoms in the area of communication rights, while Chapter III sets out the cases that do not fall into either of the former categories or have some feature setting them apart. Within each chapter, we have created separate subsets based on the dominant feature of particular cases within a given interest or freedom. Naturally, we are aware that the cases may be categorized along wholly different criteria as well and also understand that each case could be allocated to several different subsets at the same time; after all, there are overlaps between the case subsets we have defined and a case could be shifted from one subset to another depending on which of its features is focused on. When allocating particular cases to the subsets, our main criterion was the feature of the particular case that we considered most vital and important.

Besides this thematic structure, we are publishing the cases in alphabetical order as well, so that anyone searching for a concrete case can easily find the case they need. Also, we divide both Compendia into three parts for ease of handling. It must be noted that studying brief case summaries does not substitute for a knowledge of the full judgement; after all, the process of summarizing may have omitted the very piece of information that would have been essential for a particular research project. The Compendium is the result mainly of Sándor Kóczián’s dedicated efforts. Gratitude is also due to two researchers of the Institute for Media Studies, Antónia Kováts and Árpád Varga, who edited and proofread specific sections of the Hungarian text.