Freedom Of Speech Thesis Proposal
While the freedom of speech remains paramount and invaluable in a democratic society, it must not be applied for the advancement of criminal activities or to harm reputations.
Freedom of speech as a universal standard reduced at Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and similarly reciprocated in most Constitutions and statutes.
Freedom of speech is not an absolute right and may be fettered in its application.
Purpose of freedom of speech
Promote the right to expression and a conscience.
Facilitate meaning engagement in a socio-political setup.
Exceptions and justifications for limiting the freedom of speech
The need to tackle terrorism and the ideological divide; terrorism proponents have the tendency to abuse the freedom of speech to promote their personal agenda often to the disadvantage of the larger society.
The protection of reputation; freedom of speech may be abused in the defamation of reputations. Necessary safeguards put in place in striking the balance between freedom of speech and protection of reputations.
There is a need to exercise freedom of speech responsibility without having to violate the rights of other people.
Freedom of speech has attained a universal standard and was captured in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is an international text. Article 19 champions everyone’s freedom of speech which includes the non-interference with someone’s conscience, expressions, opinions and access to information. The same has been replicated by all civilized societies in their Constitutions or statute laws. However, freedom of speech is not enjoyed absolutely and as such comes with its related limitations.
The spirit behind the freedom of speech was that through the protection of speech, society would be able to exercise unfettered power over their conscience and expressions. That way, at least everyone is afforded the right to access information and so impart that information on the others.
However, the law appreciates the tendency of mankind to employ such progressive provisions to their advantages. Case in point is the tendency to employ the free speech provision to cause criminal activities. In the current times, in the wake of terrorism, freedom of information has had to meet its fair limitations. Although there is no consensus of the term terrorism, it entails the violent and fatal advancement of war against a people primarily out of ideological differences. Some terrorists would want to employ the provision granting them freedom of speech to incite a people against another people. In addition, terrorist fundamentalist would want to castigate some people through the distortion of information and advancement of ideologies harmful to the existence of other people. A classic case of the abuse of freedom of speech is captured in the publication by Adolf Hitler of his book Mien Kamp. In his book, Hitler expresses unnecessary hatred against the Jewish race which, in his lack of wisdom, he reined the entire Aryan society to eliminate.
Contemporary abusers of freedom of speech are found within the Muslim society where they distort ideological arguments including the Islamic teachings to advocate hatred against the West. A case in point is the Al-Qaida terrorist movement which was led by their fallen hero Osama Bin Laden. It is imperative to appreciate the sanctity of life and embrace an approach that seeks to curtail the freedom of speech in cases where exercise of such speech runs into such abuses.
Further, freedom of speech needs to be defended even in the face of opposing speech. In a political context, freedom of expression must be facilitated for purposes of having a meaning engagement in the public arena. The same can be applied albeit with its checks put in place. In the context of exercising free speech, it is imperative to appreciate the duties that accompany it. Every right often comes with a duty and free speech is no exception. The obligation imposed on people enjoying their right often is that such enjoyment shall not jeopardize the freedom of others. In that particular context, freedom of speech must not be employed to damage or injure the reputation of others. It is critical for people enjoying the freedom of speech not to damage the reputation of others. In that context, free speech, which is often a Constitutional as well as a human right provision, runs into relation with the tort of defamation. In the Common Law and even in the American jurisprudence, it has been made clear that defamation in any manner would not go unaddressed by the mere pretext of exercise of freedom of speech. In that context, defamation would only be allowed in exceptional circumstances such as in the exercise of one’s right to fair comment, truth and the argument as to one’s disentitlement to a reputation. Otherwise the law remains protective of everyone’s reputation and is prepared to limit the exercise of freedom of speech if it would go into occasioning the defamation of other people.
In conclusion, from the foregoing it is accurate to say that freedom of speech remains an essential empowerment for a democratic society. However, that freedom must be exercised within the allowable permits and must not go into aiding or abetting the commission of crimes or the defamation of persons. In other words, let us enjoy the freedom of speech responsibly.
Ardia, David. "Freedom of Speech, Defamation, and Injunctions." William and Mary Law Review (2013): 1-84.
Erez, Daphne and David Scharia. "Freedom of Speech, Support for Terrorism, and the Challenge of Global Constitutional Law." Havard National Security Journal (2011): 1-30. Print.
Glasser, Theodore and Timothy Gleason. Freedom of the Press in the 21st Century: An Agenda for Thought and Action. Washington D.C. : Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, 2013.
Human Rights Review. "Article 10: Freedom of Expression." Human Rights Review (2012): 330-375.
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