Published by Crackers Books, 15 February 2024

Freedom of Expression

Freedom of Expression: A Concise Overview

Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right recognized universally as crucial for democracy, individual autonomy, and societal progress. This overview synthesizes key insights from recent academic research on this concept:

  1. Foundational Human Right: Freedom of expression is identified as an inalienable human right crucial for self-governance. It encompasses the freedom of speech and the right to receive information, with libraries playing a pivotal role in protecting and promoting these rights across various formats and technologies (Pistolis, 1996).
  2. Legal and Political Perspectives: The freedom of expression is safeguarded by numerous international and regional legal instruments, emphasizing its significance for a country's development. It includes not only the freedom to express one's opinions or ideas but also the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas (Majhosev & Mirkovski, 2017).
  3. Role in Democracies: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, underscores the importance of freedom of expression for the protection of human rights worldwide, serving as the moral backbone for over two hundred human rights instruments (Morsink, 1999).
  4. Modern Freedom: Freedom of expression is considered the foremost modern freedom, critical for enabling individuals to express their viewpoints, defend opinions, and communicate ideas without fear of government harassment. Its roots trace back to the sixteenth-century reformation, becoming legally recognized first in England and later during the Enlightenment and French Revolution (Zoller, 2009).
  5. Conflicts and Balancing: The exercise of freedom of expression often conflicts with other societal interests, necessitating a balance between individual liberty and social good. This includes considering the impact of expressions on national security, public order, health, and morals, highlighting the complexity of ensuring this freedom within the framework of democratic societies (Howie, 2018).

Conclusion: The concept of freedom of expression is foundational to democratic societies, enabling individuals to contribute to political, social, and cultural discourses. Balancing this freedom with societal needs and other rights remains a critical challenge, requiring ongoing legal and ethical considerations.


  1. Pistolis, D. R. (1996). Access to electronic, information, services, and networks: An interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights. 10.7710/1093-7374.1047. Link.
  2. Majhosev, A., & Mirkovski, G. (2017). Freedom of expression and decriminalization of the defamation in the Republic of Macedonia. Journal of Process Management. New Technologies, 5(4), 106-113. Link.
  3. Morsink, J. (1999). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Origins, Drafting, and Intent. American Journal of Legal History, 43(3), 346-347. Link.
  4. Zoller, E. (2009). Foreword: Freedom of Expression: "Precious Right" in Europe, "Sacred Right" in the United States? Indiana Law Journal, 84(1), 2. Link.
  5. Howie, E. (2018). Protecting the human right to freedom of expression in international law. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20(1), 12-15. Link.

Recommended Citation

Crackers Books. (2024, February 15). Freedom of Expression: A Concise Overview [Crackers Basics]. Retrieved from

Facebook Logo Vector
Youtube Official Icon
TikTok Logo Icon