Press Law of 1766, Sweden

The Swedish Press Law of 1766 is regarded as the oldest legislation of press freedom. It was passed by the Swedish Riksdag (the Parliament) as “His Royal Majesty's Law on freedom of writing and print” on December 2, 1766. It was considered as a basic law, which meant that changes must be decided by identical decisions by two Riksdags. The law abolished the censorship of all printed publications, including those imported from abroad, but excluding those on theological subjects. Further, it guaranteed public access to documents drawn up by government agencies. However, the strong punishments for writing against the state or the king were kept, meaning that control was transferred from the public censor to the publishers.

The background of the Swedish Press Law of 1766 ...

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