Article title Guarantees of Freedom of Speech as an Element of Modern Constitutionalism
Name of magazine Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)
Issue 4/2018
Сторінки [108-125]

Freedom of speech (freedom of expression of own views – according to Article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is one of the essentials upon which democratic society may be formed and may exist; it belongs to the universal “values of paramount importance”, since along with making a person able to freely express own views, it also allows revealing the potential of his/her personality. Besides, it is regarded (and this is not accidental and quite justified) as one of the main and undisputed achievements of the political reform currently underway in Ukraine. Guarantees of freedom, including freedom of speech, being of the highest natural normativity in terms of political content, is the weightiest feature of the organic constitution, on the one part, and on the other part – the main function of the constitution as a legal source which reflects the interests of civil society and is consistent with them. The article focuses on the fact that there are many types and ways of envisaging and entrenching legal guarantees of freedom in modern constitutions. But among them the following are considered to be the most important: declaration of freedom as a goal of the State or the highest social value; its entrenchment as a legal category; its establishment as a principle of the constitutional system; providing for the procedural instruments to protect and defend freedom, etc. Given the above, it may be asserted that guarantees of freedom of speech by the State ensure its free exercise, protect it against possible unlawful encroachments and defend from illegal infringements. At the same time, real freedom of speech contributes to the establishment of a democratic civil society and creates the conditions for its preservation and enhancement. Thus, it should be kept in mind that simple declaration of the right to freedom of thought and speech is not enough, it is also important to establish certain guarantees for its implementation, that is, to provide for certain terms and means ensuring the existence of freedom of speech and information in a democratic society. The purpose of the article is to analyze various scientific approaches to the essence of legal guarantees, to prove that it is well-justified to understand the constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech as a fundamental principle of life of Ukrainian society based on the undeniable recognition of democracy, human and citizen’s rights and freedoms. The article demonstrates that in Ukraine attempts are made to find a legislative and practical solution to the issues associated with guarantees of such human and citizen’s rights as the right to: freedom of expression of own opinions and beliefs, freedom of speech, and freedom of information. Positive changes which occurred in public consciousness of citizens recently, evidence that freedom of speech guaranteed by law cultivates independent civic thinking of a particular individual and his/her sense of social responsibility. The author arrives at the conclusion that citizens of Ukraine begin to perceive the inalienable human right to freedom of speech as the highest social value, and along with that they start to realize that proactive and conscious involvement in social and political life is possible only where the right of a citizen to freedom of expression of own opinions and beliefs is guaranteed by law.

Keywords Constitution; constitutionalism; guarantees of freedom of speech; freedom of expression; constitutional guarantees; political and ideological pluralism

List of legal documents 

1. Konstytutsiia Ukrainy [The Constitution of Ukraine]: Zakon Ukrainy [the Law of Ukraine] vid 28 chervnia 1996 r. № 254k/96-VR. Vidomosti Verkhovnoi Rady Ukrainy. 1996. № 30. St. 141 (in Ukrainian). 

2. Pro dostup do publichnoi informatsii [On Access to Public Information]: Zakon Ukrainy [the Law of Ukraine] vid 13 sichnia 2011 r. № 2939-VI. URL: http://zakon5. (accessed: 02.03.2018) (in Ukrainian).

3. Pro drukovani zasoby masovoi informatsii (presu) v Ukraini [On the Printed Mass Media (the Press) in Ukraine]: Zakon Ukrainy [the Law of Ukraine] vid 16 lystopada 1992 № 2782-XII. URL: (accessed: 02.03.2018) (in Ukrainian).

4. Pro informatsiiu [On Information]: Zakon Ukrainy [the Law of Ukraine] vid 2 zhovtnia 1992 r. № 2657-XII. URL: (accessed: 02.03.2018) (in Ukrainian).

5. Pro telebachennia i radiomovlennia [On Television and Radio Broadcasting]: Zakon Ukrainy [the Law of Ukraine] vid 21 hrudnia 1993 r. № 3759-XII. URL: http://zakon2. (accessed: 02.03.2018) (in Ukrainian).

6. Pro vykonannia rishen ta zastosuvannia praktyky Yevropeiskoho sudu z prav liudyny: Zakon Ukrainy [the Law of Ukraine] vid 23 liutoho 2006 r. № 3477-IV. URL: (accessed: 02.03.2018) (in Ukrainian).



7. Rishennia Konstytutsiinoho Sudu Ukrainy u spravi za konstytutsiinym podanniam narodnykh deputativ Ukrainy shchodo vidpovidnosti Konstytutsii Ukrainy (konstytutsiinosti) polozhen abzatsu chetvertoho statti 2, chastyny druhoi statti 6, chastyn pershoi, druhoi statti 10 Zakonu Ukrainy “Pro molodizhni ta dytiachi hromadski orhanizatsii” (sprava pro molodizhni orhanizatsii) [Decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in the Case Following the Constitutional Petition of People’s Deputies of Ukraine Concerning the Compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine (Constitutionality) of the Provisions of Paragraph Four of Article 2, Part Two of Article 6, Parts One, Two of Article 10 of the Law of Ukraine “On Youth and Children’s Non-Governmental Organizations” (Case of Youth Organizations)] vid 13 hrudnia 2001 № 18-rp/2001. URL: (accessed: 02.03.2018) (in Ukrainian).

8. Rishennia Konstytutsiinoho Sudu vid 20 sichnia 2012 r. № 2-rp/2012 u spravi za konstytutsiinym podanniam Zhashkivskoi raionnoi rady Cherkaskoi oblasti shchodo ofitsiinoho tlumachennia polozhen chastyny pershoi, druhoi statti 32, chastyny druhoi, tretoi statti 34 Konstytutsii Ukrainy [Decision of the Constitutional Court Dated January 20, 2012 № 2-рп/2012 in the Case Following the Constitutional Petition of Zhashkiv District Council of Cherkasy Region Concerning the Official Interpretation of the Provisions of Parts One, Two of Article 32, Parts Two, Three of Article 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine]. URL: (accessed: 02.03.2018) (in Ukrainian).

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Edited and translated books

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Journal articles

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25. Slinko Tetiana, ‘Konstytutsiino-pravovi harantii svobody slova’ [‘Guarantees of Freedom of Speech under Constitutional Law’] (2014) 9 Nashe pravo 11 (in Ukrainian).

26. Oleksandr Skrypniuk, ‘Svoboda dumky i slova: konstytutsiino-pravovi harantii v Ukraini’ [‘Freedom of Thought and Speech: Constitutional Law Guarantees in Ukraine’] (2011) 3 Yurydychna Ukraina 28 (in Ukrainian).



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