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Bouton v. Francia, No. 22636/19, ECtHR (5th Section), 13 October 2022


Conviction of an activist for sexual exhibition inside a Catholic church to denounce its position on abortion. Violation of freedom of expression.

Normative references

Art. 10 ECHR
Art. 9 ECHR


1. A conviction in the context of a political or public interest debate is compatible with the freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 10 of the Convention only in exceptional circumstances, when other fundamental rights have been seriously compromised, as in the case, for example, of the dissemination of hate speech or incitement to violence.
2. Where the repression of conduct relates to the nudity of the chest in a public place [as a manifestation of one's political thought], the custodial sentence appears to be unfounded regarding the seriousness of the effects, the proportionality and finally the ultimate aim pursued by it.