The group work has shown that there are many good reasons for freedom of expression, but also that this freedom sometimes should be restricted. This duality is reflected in the international human rights documents. The treaties protect freedom of expression, but give the states possibilities to restrict this freedom in some situations and under certain circumstances.
For example, Article 10 in the European Convention on Human Rights recognises that freedom of expression cannot be absolute, but that there are good reasons for restricting expressions that have harmful and destructive effects. This may refer, for example, to expressions that compromise other peoples´ privacy and family life; that discriminate against vulnerable groups; that encourage violence and terrorism, that are pornographic and can harm children and young people; that disclose state secrets; or that have other negative impact on individuals, the state or the society at large. According to the Article, however, any restrictions must be according to the law and must be necessary in a democratic society. The underlying argument is that since freedom of expression is such a fundamental democratic value, the states´ restrictions cannot be arbitrary.