Academic freedom as a defensive right

Monika Stachowiak-Kudła*, Sina Westa, Catarina Santos Botelho, Ildikó Bartha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Ensuring the proper implementation of academic freedom can be difficult both for policymakers and university authorities. Hence, great emphasis should be given to the defensive function of academic freedom. In this paper, we analyse the legal regulations and the jurisprudence of the constitutional courts of Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, and Spain. We identify who is the holder of academic freedom, how the defensive function of academic freedom works and what academic activities are being protected. The study shows that individual countries emphasise slightly different aspects of the defensive function of academic freedom but remain unanimous on the essence of this function. As academic freedom is not defined unequivocally in most constitutions and legal frameworks, constitutional courts play a significant role in shaping its defensive function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-190
Number of pages30
JournalHague Journal on the Rule of Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Academic freedom
  • Negative and positive freedom
  • Defensive rights
  • Freedom of scientific research
  • Freedom to teach
  • Fundamental rights


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