Žodžio laisvė ir jos ribų kaita per du atkurtos nepriklausomybės dešimtmečius.
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Freedom of speech has been essential in building democracy in Lithuania after regaining its independence. Exercise of the constitutional freedom of expression (Article 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania) within the societies following constitutional values is the major factor shaping the political will of citizens. Wide-ranging, all round public discussion about all public interest issues is possible only when it is subject to due freedom of information. In indirect democracy, strong disseminator of information acting between citizens and the Parliament able to create the field for discussion and mutual impact is a necessity. Significance, quality, all-roundedness of discussion on all public interest issues is the major factor determining correct choices of citizens and politicians. Restriction of freedom of expression and information or prohibition of free search, receipt and dissemination thereof shall be considered as subjugation of a human being as a free and autonomous creature. Freedom of speech is a highly important feature in building democracy. The media in Lithuania during two decades of democracy building has actively made the use of freedom of self-expression. The courts have solved a lot of case-laws, where freedom of speech, honour, dignity and private life were at stake. The Parliament, the Constitutional Court, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg, the Government, the Inspector of Journalist Ethics and the Commission on Journalists and Publishers Ethics, the courts of Lithuania – all institutions took part in the process of defining freedom of speech and its limits in Lithuania during two decades of its independence. The purpose of this publication is to identify if the case-law of Lithuania’s courts in balancing the contradictions between the freedom of self-expression and personal dignity, honour and private life is in line with the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, jurisprudence of the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg. Defining if the case-law of Lithuania’s courts are in line with the jurisprudence of the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, the research is concentrated on legal tests applied in the case-law of freedom of speech – distinguishing between public and private figures, estimating disseminated information as facts or value-judgments, freedom of speech decriminalization problems, compensation in respect of pecuniary damage.
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