Professor Marianne H. Skanland Discourse in Oslo on April 16th, 2016

Marianne H. Skanland: Norway prides itself on being a democracy, and Norwegian politicians and other leaders travel around the world preaching human rights to others. When it comes in the form of criticism against them, though, the Norwegian state does not like free speech any more. They try to make it impossible, even criminal, to show others how Barnevernet acts……”

Delight in Truth

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Freedom of expression in Barnevern cases
Speech at the demonstration outside the Norwegian parliament on 16 April 2016 by Marianne H. Skanland

Freedom of speech is important and positive. This is an opinion shared by most of us. Why?

It cannot be because it’s always nice to hear people’s honest opinion. It isn’t nice, because it is so often critical.

So again: Why do we think it is important?

Well, let us hear what the European Court of Human Rights has to say about freedom of expression (‘expression’ comprises both speech and writing). In a judgment from 1976, the Court says clearly that free expression is one of –

„…. the principles characterising a ‘democratic society’. Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of such a society, one of the basic conditions for its progress and for the development of every man.”

So freedom of expression is important because it is necessary. It…

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