Gratuitously offensive speech and the political debate

Howard, Erica ORCID: (2016) Gratuitously offensive speech and the political debate. European Human Rights Law Review, 6 . pp. 636-644. ISSN 1361-1526

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Anti-immigration and anti-Islam rhetoric has become part of political discourse. This raises questions about, on the one hand, politicians’ freedom of expression and, on the other hand, the duty not to be gratuitously offensive. How can these two be reconciled? Can and should political speech be curtailed for being (gratuitously) offensive? If so, where does this leave a politician’s right to freedom of expression? These questions are the main focus of this article and the case law of the European Court Human Rights will be used in the analysis.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 20780
Notes on copyright: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in European Human Rights Law Review following peer review. The definitive published version - Howard, E.,(2016) 'Gratuitously offensive speech and the political debate', E.H.R.L.R. 2016, 6, 636-644 - is available online on Westlaw UK ( or from Thomson Reuters DocDel service(
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Depositing User: Erica Howard
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2016 09:12
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2019 12:40

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