104. Nature of a democratic society.

In the context of the principle of necessity — ie that any interference with a qualified Convention right1 be 'necessary in a democratic society'2 — the nature of a 'democratic society' is part of the determination of whether a restrictive measure is necessary, and the European Court of Human Rights has held that the hallmarks of a democratic society are pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness3. This means that ideas and opinions that may shock, disturb or offend the state or any sector of the population are protected