Links: Bailii , Bailii Ratio: A journalist was wrongly convicted himself of spreading racial hatred by quoting racists in his material. Held: Freedom of expression is one of the essential foundations of a democratic society. The safeguards to be afforded to the press are of particular importance. Not only does the press have the task of imparting such information and ideas: the public also has a right to receive them. It is not for this court, nor for the national courts for that matter, to substitute their own views for those of the press as to what technique of reporting should be adopted by journalists.

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UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. In the case of Jersild v. Ryssdal, President, Mr R. Bernhardt, Mr F. Macdonald, Mr C. Russo, Mr A. Spielmann, Mr N. Valticos, Mr S. Martens, Mrs E. Palm, Mr R. Pekkanen, Mr A. Loizou, Mr J. Morenilla, Mr M. Lopes Rocha, Mr L. Wildhaber, Mr G. Mifsud Bonnici, Mr J.

Makarczyk, Mr D. Gotchev, Mr B. Repik, Mr A. Philip,ad hoc judge, and also of Mr H. The case was referred to the Court on 9 September by the European Commission of Human Rights "the Commission" and on 11 October by the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark "the Government" , within the three-month period laid down by Article 32 para.

It originated in an application no. In response to the enquiry made in accordance with Rule 33 para. The Chamber to be constituted included ex officio Mr I. Foighel, the elected judge of Danish nationality Article 43 of the Convention art. Ryssdal, the President of the Court Rule 21 para. However, on 20 September Mr Foighel withdrew from the case pursuant to Rule 24 para. On 24 September , in the presence of the Registrar, the President drew by lot the names of the other seven members, namely Mr R.

Macdonald, Mrs E. Pekkanen, Mr M. Lopes Rocha, Mr G. Makarczyk and Mr D. Gotchev Article 43 in fine of the Convention and Rule 21 para. Waaben as an ad hoc judge; in a letter of 16 November the Agent informed the Registrar that Mr Waaben had withdrawn and that they had therefore appointed Mr A. Philip to replace him Article 43 of the Convention and Rule 23 art. As President of the Chamber Rule 21 para. In a letter of 7 March the Secretary to the Commission informed the Registrar that the Delegate did not wish to reply in writing.

On 23 February the President, having consulted the Chamber, had granted leave to Human Rights Watch, a New York based non-governmental human rights organisation, to submit observations on specific aspects of the case Rule 37 para. On 23 February the Chamber had authorised Rule 41 para. A showing was held shortly before the hearing on 20 April. On 23 February the Chamber had also decided to relinquish jurisdiction forthwith in favour of a Grand Chamber Rule Bernhardt, as well as the other members of the Chamber being ex officio members of the Grand Chamber, the names of the additional nine judges were drawn by lot by the President in the presence of the Registrar on 24 February Rule 51 para.

Martens, Mr A. Morenilla, Mr L. Wildhaber and Mr B. The Court had held a preparatory meeting beforehand. Johannessen, lawyer, Adviser. The particular circumstances of the case 9. The latter is known as a serious television programme intended for a well-informed audience, dealing with a wide range of social and political issues, including xenophobia, immigration and refugees.

The Greenjackets item In the light of this article, the editors of the Sunday News Magazine decided to produce a documentary on the Greenjackets. Subsequently the applicant contacted representatives of the group, inviting three of them together with Mr Per Axholt, a social worker employed at the local youth centre, to take part in a television interview.

During the interview, which was conducted by the applicant, the three Greenjackets made abusive and derogatory remarks about immigrants and ethnic groups in Denmark. It lasted between five and six hours, of which between two and two and a half hours were video-recorded. Danmarks Radio paid the interviewees fees in accordance with its usual practice. The applicant subsequently edited and cut the film of the interview down to a few minutes.

The papers are currently publishing stories about distrust and resentment directed against minorities. Who are the people who hate the minorities?

Where do they come from? What is their mentality like? Are you a racist? We believe Denmark is for the Danes. It is public housing, a lot of the inhabitants are unemployed and on social security; the crime rate is high. Some of the young people in this neighbourhood have already been involved in criminal activities and have already been convicted.

I just ran into a petrol station with a Then I ran out again. They meet not far away from the public housing area near some old houses which are to be torn down. They meet here to reaffirm among other things their racism, their hatred of immigrants and their support for the Ku Klux Klan.

People should be allowed to keep slaves, I think so anyway. There are a lot of people who say, but But we, we have enough problems in getting our social benefits, man, they just get it. We have painted their doors and hoped that they would get fed up with it, so that they would soon leave, and jumped on their cars and thrown paint in their faces when they were lying in bed sleeping.

Well, I think he woke up, and then he came out and shouted something in his hula-hula language. He has worked there for several years, but many give up a lot sooner because of the tough environment. Per Axholt feels that the reasons why the young people are persecuting the immigrants is that they are themselves powerless and disappointed. What do you think they would say that they want, if you asked them? Some control over their lives, work which may be considered decent and which they like, a reasonable economic situation, a reasonably functioning family, a wife or a husband and some children, a reasonable middle-class life such as you and I have.

They have been told over a long period that the means by which to achieve success is money. Is the reason for this the fact that they are not afraid of the police getting hold of them?

For instance fights and stabbings and smashing up things If you really get into the joint it would be such a ridiculously small sentence, so it would be, I mean Last time we caused some trouble over at the pub, they let us out the next morning.

Nothing really comes of it. Would you like your child to grow up like you? What then? Proceedings in the City Court of Copenhagen In the City Court counsel for the applicant and Mr Jensen called for their acquittal. He argued that the conduct of the applicant and Mr Jensen could in no way be compared to that of the other three defendants, with whose views they did not sympathise. They sought merely to provide a realistic picture of a social problem; in fact the programme only provoked resentment and aroused pity in respect of the three other defendants, who had exposed themselves to ridicule on their own terms.

Accordingly, it was by no means the intention of Danmarks Radio to persuade others to subscribe to the same views as the Greenjackets, rather the contrary. Under the relevant law a distinction had to be drawn between the persons who made the statements and the programme editors, the latter enjoying a special freedom of expression. The public also had an interest in being informed of notoriously bad social attitudes, even those which were unpleasant.

The programme was broadcast in the context of a public debate which had resulted in press comments, for instance in Information, and was simply an honest report on the realities of the youths in question. Counsel, referring inter alia to the above-mentioned article in Information, also pointed to the fact that no consistent prosecution policy had been followed in cases of this nature.

On 24 April the City Court convicted the three youths, one of them for having stated that "niggers" and "foreign workers" were "animals", and two of them for their assertions in relation to drugs and "Perkere".

As regards the applicant, the City Court found that, following the article in Information of 31 May , he had visited the Greenjackets and after a conversation with Mr Axholt, amongst others, agreed that the three youths should participate in a television programme.

Accordingly, so the City Court held, the applicant had himself taken the initiative of making the television programme and, further, he had been well aware in advance that discriminatory statements of a racist nature were likely to be made during the interview. The interview had lasted several hours, during which beer, partly paid for by Danmarks Radio, was consumed.

In this connection the applicant had encouraged the Greenjackets to express their racist views, which, in so far as they were broadcast on television, in itself constituted a breach of Article b of the Penal Code.


Jersild v Denmark: ECHR 20 Oct 1994

UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. In the case of Jersild v. Ryssdal, President, Mr R. Bernhardt, Mr F. Macdonald, Mr C.


Jersild v. Denmark

Arajar Would you like your child to grow up like you? The particular Circumstance of the Case A. The Court observes that the applicant still works with jersils Sunday News Magazine at Danmarks Radio and that his employer has supported him throughout the proceedings, inter alia by paying the fine see paragraphs 9 and 40 above and legal fees see paragraph 44 below. Accordingly, the findings of the Danish courts cannot be considered as giving rise to a violation of Article 10 art.


Talk:Jersild v. Denmark

Arashilrajas But we, we have enough problems in getting our social benefits, man, they just get it. The papers are currently publishing stories about distrust and resentment directed against minorities. Hans Engell topic Hans Engell born 8 October is a Copenhagen born Danish former politician and journalist, who until 6 September was the editor-in-chief of the tabloid Ekstra Bladet, a position he had held for seven years. When the Supreme Court has rendered judgment in a case raising important issues of principle it is customary that a member of the majority publishes a detailed and authoritative statement of the reasons for the judgment. Jersild v Denmark — Wikipedia And what must be the feelings of those whose human dignity has been attacked, or even denied, by the Greenjackets? Member feedback about Physician writer: Everyone has the right to freedom of expression.

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