Freedom of Expression

ECHR, Article 10:

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
  2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclose of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

Constitution of the United States, First Amendment:

‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.’

It is useful to compare the above two provisions.


  • Debate regarding the US Constitution centres around whether the relevant expression is speech, and therefore falls within the scope of protection; in contrast, ECHR’s use of ‘expression’ makes it relatively easy to fall within the scope of the Article, the issue being 10(2) as to whether any restrictions is justified – Dentist Calgary
  • This is reflected in the US’s narrower approach being matched by higher level of protection, with no explicit limits on its scope.

Supreme Court in PJS v News Group

Revised Script for presentation.

2000 words, (15mins + 5min Q&A)


Critically assess the reasoning of the Supreme Court in PJS v Abogados de accidentes de auto [2016] UKSC 26 by making specific reference to their Lordships discussion of the test opined in American Cyanamid Co v Ethicon Ltd [1975] AC 396 which ought to be applied when considering an application for the grant ( or otherwise) of an interim injunction.


Slide 1


Hi there, my name is Waqqas Anwar and in this presentation I will be analysing the reasoning of the Supreme Court’s decision in PJS v News Group Newspapers ltd 2016, by making reference to the test set out in  the American Cyanamid v Ethicon ltd 1975 case. The Supreme Court in PJS ruled on the validity and application of the tests set out in American, when deciding whether an interim injunction is appropriate relief.  


Slide 2


I will  firstly explore the SC’s reasoning for dismissing the CA’s application of the ECHR. Secondly I will explore the American ‘balance of probabilities’ theory which the SC rule was incorrectly placed by the CA.


Lord Justice Jackson had said that Section 12 of the Human Rights Act “enhances the weight which [ECHR] article 10 rights carry in the balancing exercise. Secondly, it raises the hurdle which the claimant [PJS] must overcome in order to obtain an interim injunction” ([2016] EWCA Civ 393 para 40).