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Otto-Preminger-Institut v. Austria, (13470/87) [1994] ECHR 26 (20 September 1994)

Facts: the applicant institute tried to show a film that offended the Catholic religion and the religious feelings of the people of Tyrol, a region that consists of a large majority of Catholics in whose lives religion plays a very important role. The authorities had banned the showing of the film in an art cinema and confiscated the film.

Complaint: the applicant claimed a violation of their freedom of speech under article 10 of the Convention.

Holding: the ECHR found no violation of article 10 of the Convention.

Reasoning: the interference with the applicant association's freedom of expression was prescribed by law but the seizure and forfeiture of the film were aimed at `the protection of the rights of others', namely the right to respect for one's religious feelings, and at ensuring religious peace. The Court assessed the conflicting interests of the exercise of two fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the Convention and concluded that the Austrian authorities did not overstep their margin of appreciation.

 

 

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