John Stuart Mill's On Liberty And The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

1419 Words6 Pages
Sabine Comploi 15710649
Freedom of Expression As for now, a society with limitless freedom of speech has yet to exist. There is no such thing as complete free speech, it is always carefully balanced with other political values. While free speech is a human right, guaranteed in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, International Law accepts restrictions on free speech to protect the rights or reputations of others, national security, public order, public health and morals (Lawson and Bertucci, 1996, p.815). In line with this, the Irish Constitution States that 'You have the right to freely express convictions and opinions. However, the Constitution asserts that the state should try to make sure that the radio, the press and the cinema are not used to undermine public order, morality or the authority of the state. It also states that it is an offense to publish or utter blasphemous, seditious or indecent matter. ' (Article 40.6.1,Irish Constitution, 1937)
The question is how far limitations should be applied. It has been argued that it is a slippery slope and limitations lead to further restrictions and tyranny.
One of the most compelling, liberal arguments for freedom of expression was made by 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill in his book On Liberty. This essay will assess Mill 's arguments for free speech, Mill 's Harm Principle on when free speech should be limited and lastly The Harm Principle on two separate issues: pornography and hate
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