Authors: Enora Bennetot Pruvot, Thomas Estermann and Nino Popkhadze. European University Association asbl, www.eua.eu · info@eua.eu. 2023. pg. 99.
In some systems, academic freedom is considered to derive from the right to freedom of xpression. However, this is not taken into account in this chapter's categorisation. While freedom of xpression (or freedom of speech) at universities also features in related discussions, conceptually, and for the present purpose, a distinction is made between academic freedom (with a narrower focus) and freedom of expression. A further distinction is made according to the hierarchy of legal provisions (i.e. between provisions in constitutional law and common law). Consultations with the national rectors' conferences revealed that academic freedom is enshrined in the legal framework in some form in a large majority of systems considered, whether as a direct mention or through more substantive provisions on freedom of teaching, research, or science. Constitutional protection.
Although national legal systems are structured differently throughout Europe, provisions included in the constitution or in special laws of constitutional rank take precedence over ordinary laws and, in most cases, larger parliamentary majorities are required to amend them. However, one cannot conclude that such provisions automatically grant better protection. In a majority of the systems considered, provisions related to academic freedom (detailed or not) are included in constitutional norms (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Türkiye). In addition, almost all of these systems also have related regulations in place in ordinary law. However, Georgia, Greece, and Spain are the only systems for which it was reported that the constitution explicitly mentions academic freedom, using that set terminology. The remaining systems have no regulation on academic freedom (or freedom of teaching/research/science) in constitutional law. F: dall'introduzione.