Harald Christian Scheu
Author’s affiliation: Faculty of Law, Charles University in Prague

The Prohibition of Genocide Denial and the Freedom of Expression

Jurisprudence 1/2016 Section: Treatise Page: 3-12

Keywords: genocide denial, holocaust, Armenian genocide, freedom of expression

Abstract: Genocide is the prototype of a traumatic event which leaves deep marks in the collective memory of the nation or ethnic group. Some states have chosen to protect the reputation of the victims of genocide by so-called historical memory laws. Criminal prosecution of genocide denial may, under certain conditions, conflict with the freedom of expression which is guaranteed by international law and national constitutions. In this article, we deal with the attempt of the European Court of Human Rights to resolve this conflict. We ask ourselves whether the European Convention on Human Rights leaves a certain margin for nation states to taboo painful chapters of national and European history.