Freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Denmark

Freedom Of Speech And Freedom Of The Press In Denmark

Freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Denmark

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In Denmark the freedom of speech and freedom of the press are ensured by § 77 of the constitution:
"Anyone is entitled to in print, writing and speech to publish his or hers thoughts, yet under responsibility to the courts. Censorship and other preventive measures can never again be introduced."

The phrase under responsibility to the courts provides the main concept of the freedom: the constitution grants you the freedom to say whatever you please, but does not protect you from being punished for doing so.Tradition by the court is that the boundaries for what is deemed inappropriate are wider for the press or in a political debate than for civil citizens.

The major punishable acts are libel, blasphemy and racism, which are restricted by the Danish penal code. Like most other countries, Denmark also forbids publishing copyright-protected material without permission and revealing trade secrets in the civil law.

In 2005, Denmark got a joint first place in Reporters Without Borders Worldwide press freedom index.


The provision against libel is set down in § 267 of the penal code:
"Anybody who offends another person's honor by insulting words or actions or by stating or disseminating charges, that are suitable for reducing the insulted person in the esteem of fellow citizens, will be punished by fine or ordinary imprisonment."


Blasphemy is forbidden by § 140 of the penal code:
"Anybody who publicly mocks or insults any in this...... ...

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