Jean-Paul Costa, former President of the European Court of Human Rights and current President of the Fondation René Cassin, will be the guest of the “Memory, law and rights” conference, which, on February 4th, will close the series of initiatives for the 2019 edition of the Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Here is an excerpt of his speech on Negationism and Freedom of Expression:
"Freedom of speech is one of the most important human rights in a society. It is one of the pillars of Democracy. It is protected by the most important international, regional and national legal instruments, such as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and its Article 10.
Nevertheless it is not (and cannot) be unlimited.
According Article 10 of the ECHR, §2 , clarified by the Strasbourg Court’s case-law, limitations to this right are legitimate and subject to strict conditions. Among other examples, “Hate speech” should not be protected under article 10 (and sometimes under Article 17 of the Convention, which prohibits the abuse of rights).
More specifically, Negationism (a concept which deserves a definition) cannot be tolerated because it is a denial of the rights of victims of awful crimes, such as crime against humanity and genocide. Shoah is typically a set of very serious violations of rights and human dignity. Denying or minimizing it is not an acceptable use of freedom of expression. Are there other historical events whose negation has to be condemned?"
Jean-Paul Costa will also converse with Sara De Vido, International Law professor at Ca’ Foscari, Micaela Frulli, International Law professor at the University of Florence and Andrea Pin, Public Comparative Law professor at the University of Padua.
Photo by © Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0