Monday, March 18

Feel Free to Insult, Cameron, Clegg, the Queen, Pope Francis et al

Conviction of political activist for insulting the French President infringed his freedom of expression In Chamber judgment in the case of Eon v. France (application no. 26118/10), which is not final, the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority, that there had been: a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned the applicant's conviction for insulting the President of France. During a visit by the President to the d├ępartement of Mayenne, the applicant had waved a placard reading "Casse toi pov'con" ("Get lost, you sad prick"), a phrase uttered by the President himself several months previously.

The Court held that criminal penalties for conduct such as that displayed by the applicant were likely to have a chilling effect on satirical contributions to discussion of matters of public interest, such discussion being fundamental to a democratic society.

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