Muller And Others v Switzerland: ECHR 24 May 1988

The Court considered a complaint that Article 10 had been infringed by the applicant’s conviction of an offence of publishing obscene items, consisting of paintings which were said ‘mostly to offend the sense of sexual propriety of persons of ordinary sensitivity’.
Held: There was no breach of Article 10 ‘Artists and those who promote their work are certainly not immune from the possibility of limitations as provided for in paragraph (2) of Article 10. Whoever exercises his freedom of expression undertakes, in accordance with the express terms of that paragraph, ‘duties and responsibilities’; their scope will depend on his situation and the means he uses. In considering whether the penalty was ‘necessary in a democratic society’, the Court cannot overlook this aspect of the matter.’
Freedom of expression is one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and ‘it is applicable not only to ‘information’ or ‘ideas’ that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any section of the population’.

10737/84, [1988] ECHR 5, (1988) 13 EHRR 212
Worldlii, Bailii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 10, Eurpean Convention on Human Rights 810
Human Rights
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Perrin CACD 22-Mar-2002
The defendant had been convicted of publishing obscene articles for gain under the Act. He lived in London, and published a web site which was stored or hosted abroad, containing pornographic items. The investigating officer had called up the . .
CitedGoldstein, Rimmington v Regina CACD 28-Nov-2003
Two defendants appealed in respect of alleged offences under common law of causing a public nuisance. One had sent race hatred material, and the other bomb hoaxes, through the post. Both claimed that the offence was so ill defined as to be an . .
CitedConnolly v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 15-Feb-2007
The defendant appealed against her conviction under the Act for having sent indecent or grossly offensive material through the post in the form of pictures of an aborted foetus sent to pharmacists. She denied that they were offensive, or that she . .
CitedCore Issues Trust v Transport for London Admn 22-Mar-2013
The claimant sought judicial review of the decision made by TfL not to allow an advertisement on behalf of the Trust to appear on the outside of its buses. It was to read: ‘NOT GAY! EX-GAY, POST-GAY AND PROUD. GET OVER IT!’. The decision was said to . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Human Rights, Crime, Media

Updated: 01 January 2022; Ref: scu.165003