482. Protection of public health or morals.

There is no definition of 'morals' in human rights law and the European Court of Human Rights affords states a wide margin of appreciation1 in this area2. Expression has been lawfully restricted on this ground where it is sexually explicit, outrages human decency3, or is unduly offensive4, and a distinction is drawn between harsh words that constitute a gratuitous personal attack and those which form part of a public interest debate5.

Restrictions aimed at protecting public health, such as the prohibition of the publication of unverified medical information, have been held to be lawful