Pornography and Violence
Chapter Twelve concerns restrictions on the publication of sexual and violent content, which are often highly restrictive where democratic arguments for free speech are not directly engaged. This Chapter examines these restrictions within EU law, which accepts that there is no common European standard in matters of public morals and that member states enjoy considerable discretion in this area, where human dignity and the rights of children are at issue. EU law also contains prescriptive rules concerning the protection of children and the suppression of child pornography. As the Chapter discusses, European human rights law underpins these developments, containing a similar margin of discretion and equivalent prescriptive rules. In international law, national autonomy in this area is wider, although WTO appellate cases have challenged the necessity of measures grounded on the public morals exceptions to the GATT and GATS. The United Nations provides international standards for the protection of children.
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