Advantages Of Freedom Of Speech

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In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), freedom of speech falls under the Article 19 which is the freedom of opinion and expression. It protects one’s freedom ‘to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers’ (The United Nations, 1948). Article 19(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) adds that the freedom of expression could be ‘either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice’. Besides being an individual’s fundamental liberty of expression, Santa Clara University School of Law Professor Russell W. Galloway (1991) states that free speech is the ‘matrix of all other freedoms’. Galloway explains that free speech is the underlying foundation of a democratic government and allows discussions on important issues and provides access to information which develops an informed society and encourages the prevailing of truth. While it is ensured by the Constitution, freedom of speech is not an absolute right as the Parliament is allowed to enact laws to restrict it, especially when it involves hate speech. There is no universally agreed definition for hate speech but the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers Recommendation 97(20) stated that hate speech covers ‘all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify racial hatred, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or other

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