Glimmerveen and Hagenbeek v. The Netherlands
11 Oct 1979
Application Nos. 8348/78, 8406/78, 11 October 1979 (European Commission on Human Rights)
|Theme:||Other content restrictions|
|Decision:||Application declared inadmissible|
|Jurisdiction:||European Commission of Human Rights|
The first applicant had been convicted and sentenced for having possessed, with a view to distribution, leaflets which the court regarded as inciting to racial discrimination. The applicant was president of the NVU, a political party which advocated an ethnical homogenous society. The leaflets which the applicant sought to distribute referred to 'our white people' and the need to come to power so as to remove from the country "hundreds of thousands of Surinamers, Turks and other so-called guest workers, who, moreover, are not at all needed here..."
In relation to Article 10, the Commission recalled the Handyside case which recognised the fundamental nature of the right to freedom of expression as one of the essential conditions for human development and the progress of society.
However the Commission cautioned that in line with Article 17 of the Convention, the rights guaranteed in the Convention cannot be abused so as to impair the rights of others. The Commission explained the scope of this provision:
Article 17 covers essentially those rights which, if invoked, will facilitate the attempt to derive therefrom a right to engage personally in activities aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention.
On an analysis of the language contained in the leaflets, the Commission decided that the policy advocated clearly represented racially discriminatory views which are prohibited under Article 14 of the Convention and Protocol 4.
Article 14 provides that the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground.
The Fourth Protocol to the ECHR sets out the principle that nationals may not be expelled from their state of nationality and that aliens cannot be expelled collectively.
In light of the Netherlands' international obligations under the ECHR and the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1965, the Commission held that:
The Netherlands' authorities, in allowing the applicants to proclaim freely and without penalty their ideas would certainly encourage the discrimination prohibited by the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and the above Convention of New York of 1965.
As such, the first applicant's claim under Article 10 was unsuccessful.
The Commission declared the applications inadmissible.
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