Regulatory approaches to Free expression in Europe

The analysis aims to provide the initial answers to the question how the Internet has influenced the exercise and the judicial protection of this freedom. The rapid evolution of Internet stands behind the current ‘regulatory nervousness’ around the free expression. The shift from national anxieties to the continental regulatory zeal is caused by the lack of territorial jurisdiction over the online content and the privatisation of justice on the Internet. I first outline the protective framework of free expression in Europe, identifying benefits and pitfalls the existing system yields. I then examine the landmark cases of the ECtHR and CJEU. I raise the question whether there is any coherent approach for determining the free expression threshold in Europe and if so, what consequences it has on its online governance. I conclude that the current regulation creates a chilling effect towards this freedom because it stands on inconsistencies that result in a weak protective framework.