Freedom of expression

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Discuss with a group freedom of expression - an essential building brick of democratic discourse and of the democratic public.


  • Understand the concept of freedom of expression


1. Trainer introduces the task through a challenging question: Freedom of expression is an important human right, but are there situations in which this freedom should be restricted?

2. Participants have to explore arguments for and against an absolute freedom of expression. Participants are divided in at least two groups, because participants will be working with freedom of expression from opposite perspectives.

  • Task for groups A: Find as many arguments as possible to support the idea of an absolute freedom of expression
  • Task for groups B: Find as many arguments as possible to support the idea that freedom of expression, in some circum-stances, should be restricted. Participants get about 30 minutes to find the arguments and write it on paper.

3. Groups present their work in a plenary session. Those who that have worked with arguments for an absolute freedom of expression shall present their arguments first. Group discussion continues with theory about freedom of expression, the power of states and the central question on where the line should be drawn.



As follow up activity participants can analyse real cases considered by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg from their database:

Hand out the notes with the bingo pattern or create your own sheet with the most used phrases of your own language.

Time 40 minutes

Material Standard

Group Size -30 people

Keywords Freedom of expression, human rights, democracy, communication





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Online manual on intercultural under­standing, ethics and human rights