The Future of Free Speechs Natalie Alkiviadou in Opinio Juris

  • The case of Sanchez v France is seen as a worrying development in the context of freedom of expression, as it involves the criminal conviction of an individual for failing to delete comments made by others on his Facebook post that incited hatred or violence against a religious group.
  • The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held that the comments in question were clearly unlawful and constituted incitement to hatred. However, there are concerns about the lack of adequate contextual and legal analysis conducted by the ECtHR in determining incitement to hatred in cases like this.
  • The case raises questions about the low threshold of protection for freedom of expression and the criminalization of expression not directly uttered by the applicant but by other users, placing responsibility on the applicant to limit their speech. This restrictive approach to a fundamental right in a democratic society is a cause for concern.

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Natalie Alkiviadou is a Senior Research Fellow at The Future of Free Speech. Her research interests lie in the freedom of expression, the far-right, hate speech, hate crime, and non-discrimination.