Presentation on theme: "FREE EXPRESSION AND CENSORSHIP KEEGSTRA CASE, TOBACCO CONTROL ACT DAVID AHENAKEW, BILL WALCOTT SOME ISSUES: WHAT CAN JUSTIFY, IF ANYTHING, A LIMIT ON FREE."— Presentation transcript:
FREE EXPRESSION AND CENSORSHIP KEEGSTRA CASE, TOBACCO CONTROL ACT DAVID AHENAKEW, BILL WALCOTT SOME ISSUES: WHAT CAN JUSTIFY, IF ANYTHING, A LIMIT ON FREE SPEECH? HOW IMPORTANT IS THE VALUE OF FREE SPEECH, OR THE RIGHT TO IT? WHAT VALUE OR VALUES IS IT SUPPOSED TO PROTECT? IS IT A GOOD IN-ITSELF?
FREE SPEECH MORE ISSUES: WHAT GOOD DOES CENSORING ANYTHING DO? COMMUNITY STANDARDS IN CASE OF PORNOGRAPHY. HOW DOES IT PROTECT, IF AT ALL? AGAIN, VALUES AND MORE VALUES! PRIVACY AND ITS VALUE! SHOULD INTERNET ACTIVITIES BE CENSORED?
HATE PROPAGANDA LAW SECTION 319: 1.”Every one, who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or an offence punishable on summary conviction.” SAME SECTION IN CRIMINAL CODE AS GENOCIDE CRIME!
HATE PROPAGANDA LAW SECTION 2: Wilful promotion of hatred. “Every one, who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfuly promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of a) indictable offence....”
defences a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true. b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to express by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text; c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or
defences d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.
issues in the law ESTABLISHING TRUTH WHERE IT IS DEBATEABLE. RELIGION, AS DEFENCE? BELIEF IN TRUTH OF STATEMENT--LIKE LIABLE LAWS! IMPORTANCE OF INTENT AND WILL! HOW TO ESTABLISH THIS?
QUICK GLANCE AT CHARTER CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS, SECTIONS 2 AND PART OF 3. 2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: a) freedom of conscience and religion; b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, (also press and other media) c) freedom of peaceful assembly and d) freedom of association.
QUICK GLANCE AT CHARTER Democratic Rights: 3) Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.
keegstra case CHIEF JUSTICE DICKSON: REAL HARM TO IDENTIFIABLE GROUPS: SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HARM. PARLIAMENT OBJECTIVES IN PASSING CRIMINAL LAW IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE HATRED IS NOT GOOD FOR A SOCIETY.
keegstra case ARGUMENT FOR TRUTH: LITTLE CHANCE OF STATEMENTS BEING TRUE. WHICH STATEMENTS, HOW DO WE JUDGE THIS? FREE EXPRESSION CAN IN FACT, DICKSON SAYS, BE DESTRUCTIVE TO OUR SEARCH FOR TRUTH. FREE SPEECH IS BEST JUSTIFIED FOR POLITICAL REASONS, TO INCREASE DEMOCRACY, FOR ELECTIONS. DEMOCRACY SEEMS TO REQUIRE THIS FREEDOM.
keegstra case RECOGNITION THAT WHEN MUZZLED HATE SPEECH IS A LIMITATION OF THE PARTICIPATION OF A FEW INDIVIDUALS. FOR THE SAKE OF THE MAJORITY? UTILITARIANISM? IT CAN RESTRICT THE POLITICAL PARTICIPATION OF THOSE IDENTIFIABLE GROUPS.
keegstra case DICKSON EVEN CLAIMS THAT SUPPRESSION OF HATE CAN ENCOURAGE THE PROTECTION OF VALUES CENTRAL TO THE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. HOW SO? MEANING?
keegstra case LIMITS ON HATE PROPAGANDA ARE DIRECT AT A SPECIAL CATEGORY OF EXPRESSION WHICH “STRAYS SOME DISTANCE FROM THE SPIRIT OF S. 2 [OF CHARTER]” SO HATE PROP. NOT EQUIVALENT TO SPEECH WHICH IS PROTECTED!
keegstra case REASONS WHY THIS LEGISLATION MIGHT NOT BE CONSISTENT WITH PARLIAMENT’S PURPOSE. 1. PROVISION WOULD ITSELF PROMOTE HATE PROP. 2. INCREASE IN PUBLIC DISTRUST OF GOV. AND PERCEPTION OF HATE PROP. AS CONTAINING SOME TRUTH. 3. NAZI GERMANY CASE: LAWS AGAINST WERE PASSED BEFORE NAZIS CAME TO POWER, DID NOT STOP IT.
keegstra case “MENS REA” INTENT OF 319 SECTION 2 IS NARROW AND CONCISE. WEIGHING STATE OBJECTIVE AGAINST EFFECT OF LIMIT. CAN A BALANCE BE STRUCK? LIMITS, LASTLY, ARE NOT THAT SERIOUS, APPLY ONLY TO A SPECIAL CASE OF SPEECH.
TOBACCO CONTROL ACT SASKATCHEWAN LAW: ISSUE: CONCEALING TOBACCO ADS AND CONCEALING PRODUCTS FROM YOUNG PEOPLE IN CONSUMER ENVIRONMENTS. AGAIN ISSUE OF PROPER BALANCE BETWEEN FREE SPEECH (OF TOBACCO SELLERS, DISTRIBUTORS) AND PROTECTING PUBLIC FROM HARM!