A healthy democracy is sustained by informing and making aware the citizens of conflicting and differing points of view and any inroads into the freedom of speech and expression, and any rules made in the form of imposing curbs thereon would violate Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. Such are not saved by Article 19(2)9 of the Constitution. Freedom of speech is an essential feature of any genuine Democracy. The right of freedom of expression is crucial in a democracy, information ideas help to inform political debate and are essential to public accountability and transparency in government, for a democratic system to function, people have to be able to form their own ideas. One must be able to receive many different ideas and information, reflecting many different perspectives, before being able to see the truth.
This freedom is essential for the proper functioning of the democratic process. The freedom of speech and expression is regarded as the first condition of liberty. It occupies a preferred position in the hierarchy of liberties giving support and protection to all other liberties. It has been truly said that it is the mother of all other liberties.6 In a democracy, freedom of speech and expression open up channels of free discussion of issues. Freedom of speech plays a crucial role in the formation of public opinion on social, political and economic matters.
In the absence of information on specific issues of public interest, government representatives are sometimes called to guess which policy proposals deserve to be carried forward and which ones do not, often making the wrong decision. It is therefore in the very interest of governments to protect and regulate lobbying activity. In the US, the right to petition the government and thus to exert pressure on public officials is enshrined in the Constitution itself, while in some European countries, interest representatives are granted ‘hall-passes’ which allow access to legislators. However, despite the original purpose of lobbying, to intercede on behalf of the public and promote common interests, this practice has acquired a negative connotation. Lobbying can in fact undermine the goodness and legitimacy of government activity.
Free Speech is conscious cord of the democracy. Freedom of expression is integral to the growth, development and fulfillment of individual personality. Freedom of expression is most essential in a democratic setup of State where people are the Self-governing rulers. Iver Jennings said, “Without freedom of speech, the appeal to reason which is the basis of democracy cannot be made” . Milton in his Aeropagitica says that without this freedom there can be no health in the moral and intellectual life of
However, if seen in a broader perspective these rights extend to the freedom of speech, access to press and media, the freedom to choose a way of living i.e. a religion, access to adequate information, education, freedom to hold and become a part of gatherings and a right (under certain conditions) to carry a weapon for safeguard purposes as and when required. Each individual also wishes to enjoy the freedom of expression (i.e. speech, thought, emotions) and is allowed to convey those in a respectable manner without hurting the emotions and feelings of others. The idea of human rights is very simple yet it is powerful: that people have every right to be treated with respect.
Freedom of speech has been recognized as the most fundamental value to a democratic society. It serves the individual’s rights, to be an active player in the democracy, not just a passive spectator. Free speech expands an individual’s thinking, without the ability to express ideas, to be exposed to other’s ideas, people then cannot develop fully as individuals. However, our society is built on law and order, which, means that inevitably there will be restrictions placed upon free speech. Recent cases led us to question if there should be more limits placed upon free speech.
Abstract “Before any human rights declarations or treaties had been adopted, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 59(I) stating "Freedom of information is a fundamental human right and...the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated” (Calling Of An International Conference On Freedom Of Expression, 1946). It is believed that the “freedom of expression is essential in enabling democracy to work and public participation in decision-making” (Margaritis, September 2012). Citizens cannot exercise their right to vote effectively or take part in public decision-making if they cannot feel part of their society and cannot freely express their views. Violation of freedom of expression is the first step that leads to other violations. (Margaritis, September 2012) According to article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.
Hence, preventing dictatorship. Freedom of speech should be made absolute to allow citizens to exchange views and information, to protest against injustice, to influence the public discourse, and to criticize the actions of the government. Therefore, restrictions on free speech cause harm to democratic life and stands in contradiction to the fundamental principles of
SUBJECT AREA OF STUDY: IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH LEADNG TO THE NATIONAL DISHARMONY? CENTRE NAME: DECCAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL CENTRE NUMBER: IN725 CANDIDATE NAME: M.S.Aprameya CANDIDATE NUMBER: 0043 Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. It reinforces all other human rights, allowing society to develop and progress. The ability to express our opinion and speak freely is essential to bring about change in society. Freedom of speech protects everyone from all walks of life to think and express themselves freely.
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