Jacob Mchangama: Implementation of 'the COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law', means a court in Luxemburg will decide what can be said in Denmark.

New EU laws force Denmark to punish 'hate speech' with up to three years imprisonment

Jyllands-Posten januar 2011:

New rules put pressure on freedom of expression

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'EU-countries act hypocritical, when on one side they attack Hungary's new controversial media law for subverting freedom of speech, while the European Union on the other side is busy implementing legislation which restricts the right of citizens to express themselves.

Such is the criticism from Jacob Mchangama, chief legal advisor of the liberalistic think tank Cepos, which has analyzed the European Union's so called 'Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia' [Danish here]. He warns that the Framework Decision can result in serious restrictions of freedom of speech in Denmark and other European countries.

The Framework Decision which is more or less unknown to the wider public, was approved by EU governments in 2008, and obliges amongst other things the member states to criminalize and punish 'public incitement of hate and violence against groups or individuals on the background of race, skin color, religion, extraction, nationality or ethnicity. The 27 European countries oblige themselves to punish racism and xenophobia with up to three years imprisonment.

The Framework Decision constitutes a serious restriction of freedom of speech. It means that the limits of what one is allowed to say, in the end will be decided in Luxemburg by the EU court of justice. That is highly disturbing, not least when comparing to other European countries, where individuals are being punished severely, and are sent to prison for things which are not penalized in Denmark, ' says Jacob Mchangama.

The Chief Legal Advisor points out that the Framework Decision is very vague and unclear in its definitions of racism and xenophobia, so today nobody really knows what will be punishable to say tomorrow. What is hate speech? And what does it mean to trivialize genocide?

'The real consequences of the Framework Decision will only reveal themselves during the coming years, when judgments will start coming from the EU courts. I 'm afraid that the EU-Court of Justice will be found in favor of positions according to which things which today we can freely say in Denmark will become illegal, he says.

At the same time it is unsure how far Islam critical people such as Geert Wilders from the Netherlands and members of the Danish People's Party will be able to go in their criticism of Islam in the near future.

According to Jacob Mchangama it is far from sure that courts in other European countries or the European Court of Justice will have the same liberal interpretation of freedom of speech as Danish courts.

Previously the situation in Europe used to be that countries had a right to criminalize expressions, but they didn't have a duty to do so. Suddenly it has be come an 'obligation to human rights' to outlaw certain expressions.

This also has been the case in the United Nations, but UN conventions do not have the same power as the EU court, which stands over national justice, Mchangama says.

To me it seems completely schizophrenic, that EU countries fight a tough battle against the efforts of Muslim countries to restrict freedom of speech. This makes it very hard to say to Muslim countries, that the EU is fighting for freedom of speech, ' Mchangama says.'

The above is part of an article by Jacob Mchangama. The rest of the article is not on line.

Translated from:

Danish Uriasposten 15 januar 2011 - Nye EU-love forpligter Danmark til at straffe ‘hadefulde ytringer’ med op til tre års fængsel

Danish Jacob Mchangamas's blog - Retsstaten (Berlingske Tidende)

 
Jacob Mchangama og Jesper Langballe diskuterer Ytringsfrihed og Hizbut Tahrir
Deadline 18 januar 2011 - Vært Adam Holm
 

Related:

Official EU documents:

COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law (pdf)

Rådets Rammeafgørelse om bekæmpelse af visse former for og tilkendegivelser af racisme og fremmedhad ved hjælp af straffelovgivningen

Index of related documents amendments to the Framework Decision etc.

Other:

HOPE? In a surprise decision, the Supreme Court has given 35 plaintiffs the go-ahead to sue the prime minister for allowing parliament to ratify the Lisbon Treaty without holding a referendum.
Jyllands-Posten 11 januar 2011 - Supreme Court: okay to sue PM over Lisbon Treaty ratification

Ungarns premierminister, Viktor Orbán, der netop har overtaget formandskabet for EU, er forundret over udenrigsminister Lene Espersen (K), skriver Politiken. Hun kaldte tidligere på ugen Ungarns nye medielov for "foruroligende". Loven giver et politisk udpeget medieråd en lang række beføjelser til at straffe medier, det ikke finder opfører sig passende.
Jyllands-Posten 7 januar 2011 - EU-formand, Ungarns Victor Orbán anklager Lene E. for hykleri

Balder Blog 26 juni 2010 - Belgium: Vlaams Blok politician Roeland Raes sentenced 4 month for alleged ‘holocaust denial’ | Dansk

Balder Blog 27 januar 2010 - EU: Morten Kjærum vil udnytte ‘holocaust undervisning’ til at fremme menneskerettigheder version EU

Balder Blog 25 marts 2009 - Video: Hate Law Jihad - Muslimers forsøg på at lovgive mod islamkritik i USA

Balder Blog 2 marts 2009 - Strange bedfellows - Protests against the Durban II conference

Balder.org 2 marts 2009 - Durban II Conference Protests Led by Censorship Promoters (Who's behind the Durban 2 protests? Table with list of organizations and information)

Balderorg 10 juni 2008 - Jewish Involvement in Immigration and Hate Speech Legislation - USA | England | France | Holland (Documentation)

Balder Blog 12 juli 2009 - England: Sheppard og Whittle 4 år og 10 måneder for holocaust-karikaturer

Balder Blog 5 juni 2009 - Holland: VVD’s Mark Rutte’s plea for more freedom of expression in the Netherlands - transscript   

Balder Blog Juni 3, 2009 - Holland - Holocaust controversy - former party leader Bolkestein supports Rutte’s free speech advocacy 

Balder Blog 7 maj 2009 - Ved hjælp af Holocaust skal demokratiet afskaffes - EU vedtager særlov for at standse EU modstandere

Balder Blog 19 april 2009 - Østrig: Retssag, 68 årig forfatter Gerd Honsik risikerer 20 års fængsel for tankeforbrydelser

Balder Blog 8 november 2008 - Sweden refuses to extradite Danish Nazi-music distributor

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Balder Blog 27 oktober 2008 - German law now also applies in Denmark - neo-Nazi music producers to be extradited for thought crimes | Index of extradition EU thought crimes articles

Balder Blog 1 juli 2008 - Ungarsk forfatningsdomstol underkender hate speech lov

Balder Blog 10 april 2008 - Hvordan jødiske organisationer verden over arbejder for hate speech love, censur, og multikultur - ADL

Balder.org - Government sponsored Danish holocaust researcher refutes claim of 6 million Jews killed during The Holocaust

Balder Blog 11 november 2007 - Spain overturns Holocaust denial law

Balder Blog 18 april 2007 - Denmark Justice Minister Lene Espersen accepts EU deal introducing censorship in Denmark

Balder Blog 2 april 2007 - Brigitte Zypries tysk justitsminister - Lovforslag afskaffer ytringsfriheden i EU efter tysk model

Balder Blog 21 februar 2007 - Tankeforbryder Ernst Zündel får 5 års fængsel i Tyskland - Nu med video interview

Balder Blog 31 januar 2007 - Slovakiet: forslag til afskaffelse af holocaust-benægter forfølgelse


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