Article 10 - freedom of expression

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.

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.

What does this right mean?

Everyone has the right to hold opinions and express their views on their own or in a group. This applies even if these views are unpopular or disturbing. This right can be restricted only in specified circumstances.

When could this be relevant?

  • Having appropriate whistle blowing policies for staff

  • Supporting and allowing people to express their views and opinions

  • Allowing access to information

Story example of Article 10 issue

A group of care home residents are active in the community and have weekly excursions to local places of interest. They often go to the local community centre where they are entertained by Scout group performances or have a monthly bingo session. Unfortunately, due to a lack of funding, the community centre is earmarked for closure. The residents decide to launch a protest, starting with writing to their local MSP. They also plan to send out protest letters to houses in the area and talk to the local newspaper about the effect the closure will have on the community. The care home manager tells the residents that the home will not facilitate their protest as it is bad for the reputation of the home to have residents making a fuss.