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The wave of campus free speech legislation comes on the heels of a on campuses across the country. largely against conservative speakers highlight the colleges and universities are having walking a line between preserving free speech and acting as a space that showcases a variety of ideas, while at the same time protecting students – particularly those in demographic groups who may feel marginalized or threatened by the ideas espoused by a group or speaker. "We're really proud that bills to end free speech zones have been passed in a number of states and almost all with broad bipartisan support," says Joe Cohn, legislative and policy director for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a right-leaning organization that defends free speech, religious liberty and other individual rights on college and university campuses.
"I think it's unequivocally a positive thing that more legislatures are doing right by their students," Cohn says, underscoring the fact that 1 in 10 colleges in the country still use free speech zones – an idea adopted by schools during the Vietnam War that designates certain areas of campus for protesters.
"This is not the mythical unicorn. It's wrong and it's easy to fix." To be sure, each of the laws and bills differ in scope. Some simply restate protections already afforded to individuals under the First Amendment, while others, like North Carolina's and Tennessee's, go beyond that, pushing schools to more aggressively police those who disrupt campus events.
In most cases, the passed and proposed legislation builds off a legislative framework proposed by the conservative . "The campus free speech legislation has largely, if not exclusively, been introduced by conservative state lawmakers who have argued that campuses are not doing enough to ensure that all viewpoints are welcome to be expressed," he says. "These bills are not uniform, and they range from being relatively benign to redundant while others are very prescriptive and micromanage campuses.
Some of these bills could be dangerous in the sense that they could tie the hands of campuses in their efforts to protect the physical safety of those on campus." In April, officials there by conservative firebrand Ann Coulter, citing concerns over possible violence and lack of sufficient security.
Earlier this year, university officials after a crowd of protesters threw smoke bombs and Molotov cocktails, broke windows and started a fire on campus. Coulter has filed a lawsuit against the university.
Such incidents have prompted members of Congress to hold this summer, where they largely came to a bipartisan consensus that college presidents, faculty and students should not attempt to block controversial personalities from speaking on campus and instead should reject hateful and bigoted speech by offering their own intellectual rebuttals. , Education Reporter Lauren Camera is an education reporter at U.S. News & World Report.
She’s covered education pol... Lauren Camera is an education reporter at U.S. News & World Report. She’s covered education policy and politics for nearly a decade and has written for Education Week, The Hechinger Report, Congressional Quarterly, Roll Call, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. She was a 2013 Spencer Education Fellow at Columbia University’s School of Journalism, where she conducted a reporting project about the impact of the Obama administration’s competitive education grant, Race to the Top.
data powered by Best States is an interactive platform developed by U.S. News for ranking the 50 U.S. states, alongside news analysis and daily reporting.
The platform is designed to engage citizens and government leaders in a discussion about what needs improvement across the country. The data was provided by McKinsey & Company’s Leading States Index.
best pagan dating uk free speech laws - Freedom of speech
Governments have an obligation to prohibit hate speech and incitement. And restrictions can also be justified if they protect specific public interest or the rights and reputations of others.
Any restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of expression must be set out in laws that must in turn be clear and concise so everyone can understand them.
People imposing the restrictions (whether they are governments, employers or anyone else) must be able to demonstrate the need for them, and they must be proportionate. © Amnesty International UK 2017. Amnesty International UK Section Charitable Trust.
A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (03139939) and a charity registered in England and Wales (1051681) and Scotland (SC039534). Amnesty International United Kingdom Section. A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (01735872). Registered office 17-25 New Inn Yard London EC2A 3EA. © Amnesty International UK 2017
The asker (and answers) seem to be wanting to compare and contrast freedom of speech between the USA and UK and I shall try to answer in that vein. In addition to the very excellent answers here I think there are a couple of important points. • Rights in the UK are, on the whole, implicit rather than explicit. Rather than declaring “You have the right to do XX” it’s assumed that you do, unless there is a specific reason to stop it.
A good friend of mine, who is a celebrated lawyer, describes it that “America has rights, England has prohibitions”. Instinctively it might feel that explicit declaration of rights is better, but it ain’t necessarily so. Rights can compete - prohibitions rarely do. • My sense is that the UK has fewer legal protections of freedom of speech, but more cultural ones. For example, refusing to respect the national anthem or the flag in the US can cause one to lose one’s job or be excluded from school, and outside of the liberal coastal cities, declaring atheism will be met with disapprobation.
THAT SAID - the picture is far from clearcut. America has a long tradition of using freedom of speech to poke fun at the powerful - the British comedian John Oliver would most certainly not be able to do his show “Last Week Tonight” on UK TV, and the UK has a dark history of being the jurisdiction of choice for despots to silence dissent through very oppressive libel laws.
We also have the deliciously terrible “super-injunction” - - whereby rich and powerful people can stop you from being allowed to talk about something, and stop you from being allowed to talk about the fact. A2A. No, the UK no longer has freedom of speech. lists in his answer many of the types of restrictions that government may now impose on speech in the UK. I would like to supplement this by providing some examples of actual, recent cases in which disfavored speech was subject to criminal investigation and/or prosecution: • An atheist was convicted for placing sexually explicit images of religious figures in the Liverpool Airport prayer room.
• Five Muslim men were tried in Derby for distributing anti-gay leaflets. • A student was sentenced to jail time for posting racist comments on twitter while drunk. • A Scottish TV personality was subject to criminal investigation for on-air remarks during the Ebola crisis. • A college diversity officer (oh, the irony!) was prosecuted for anti-white comments.
• A reality TV star (whatever that is) was convicted for advocating the killing of children born with Down Syndrome. • A singer was arrested for performing "Kung Fu Fighting" at a beach bar on the Isle of Wight.
These criminal enforcement actions cannot be redeemed by saying that they involved speech that is "offensive." The whole point of "free speech" is that it protects expression that the majority of people disagree with or find offensive. There is rarely any demand for banning inoffensive speech.
Which gets us to a second problem: Who defines what is "offensive"? In an age that is characterized by "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces," almost everything is at risk of offending someone with a sufficiently thin skin. The "Kung Fu Fighting" case illustrates this perfectly (well, perhaps the song offends against musical good taste, but that's a different issue!).
It is the situation in the UK, then, that almost anything you say could cause you to be subject to a criminal investigation, prosecution, and possible imprisonment, as long as someone, somewhere decides to be offended by it. It does not matter that most people can get away with offensive remarks without being hauled into court; as long as some people are investigated or charged (and these actions are made public), then everyone will be moved to self-censor to some extent.
As further reports of criminal investigations and prosecutions surface, this "chilling effect" becomes increasingly acute.
Neither does it matter that in many of these investigations the defendant is never charged or, if charged, is not convicted.
For most law-abiding people, the stress and expense of defending against criminal charges, as well as the damage to reputation and career, will be punishment enough. In short, to suppress free speech, the sacrifice of just a few Muslim leafleters or drunken twitterers will suffice pour encourager les autres. The UK no longer has freedom of speech.
Some other posters have contrasted the current speech regime in the UK with that in the US, where freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment.
It is important to recall that when the American colonists rebelled against Great Britain, they were motivated by what they saw as the suppression by a tyrannical government of their ancient rights and liberties as Britons. Foremost among these were freedom of speech and religion.
In the debates surrounding the adoption of the constitution, advocates both pro- and anti- appealed to the authority of British free speech traditions and thinkers such as John Wilkes and John Stuart Mill. The so-called anti-federalists were concerned that the proposed constitution did not go far enough to protect the people's traditional British rights. It was to mollify such objections that the first amendment to the constitution expressly protected the freedoms of speech, religion, association, and the right to assemble peaceably.
The modern concept of free speech originated in Great Britain. It was exported to the colonies, whence it spread (however imperfectly) to other parts of the world. It should be a cause for universal concern that free speech is now being strangled in the land that once was its cradle. Of course it does. As the government has said: “The Government is committed to upholding free speech, and legislation is already in place to protect these fundamental rights.
However, this freedom cannot be an excuse to cause harm or spread hatred.” UK law prohibits expression of speech where it is used to engage in acts of hatred towards others based on race, sexuality, religion, disability, nationality etc. Put simply, it is designed to protect people from being victims of hatred: you’re perfectly at liberty to hate someone if you wish, but expressing that in a way designed to cause harm is prohibited. Most notably, the restrictions are focused on those who use their freedom of speech in a hateful manner with the intent to incite violence.
Some would therefore argue that we do not have free speech, but in truth, the laws focus on expressions of hatred: you can say what you like, but this does not leave you exempt from the consequences. It’s a reflection of the concept that violence does not have to by physical, and that people can be harmed significantly through words as much as by physical harm. You should note that this isn’t dissimilar to other consequences attached to expressions of free speech - something true in the United States, the UK and many other civilised nations.
For example, there are laws prohibiting defamation, slander, libel, fraud (which can obviously be verbal!), speech covered by copyright, perjury, false advertising and, of course, threats of violence (particularly of the terrorist variety!). Put that way, no nation on Earth has free speech in any complete respect.
Most, however, accept that you may say whatever you like, provided you accept the consequences of what you say. And that, as far as we’re concerned here, is the most perfectly reasonable way to handle the idea. So you've asked what the Government can do to limit speech in England and Wales (as opposed to other jurisdictions in the UK ie Scotland, and Northern Ireland).
But the limits on speech are also imposed by civil law ie other ordinary people, and also by the judiciary which is independent of government. Let's take them in turn.
Government limits on speech - acts of Parliament creating criminal offences: • Hate speech. If you cause someone "harassment, alarm or distress" either by words or behaviour, including written words, then you can be prosecuted and in the most extreme cases, jailed for up to 6 months.
Racial, sexual orientation or religious hatred can carry much longer sentences, of up to seven years. • Treason/encouragement of terrorism. This has been used against people who have spoken about acts of terrorism against the UK or British personnel.
There's quite a lot of anti-terror legislation which restricts speech in other ways. • Obscene publications. Some types of pornography are considered to be obscene and publishing (ie distributing) these can lead to prison sentences. • Obscene or malicious communications. Sending grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing electronic messages eg on the internet, email, Twitter, Quora, can be considered to be an offence under the Communications Act 2003.
• Insider trading. There are limits on what people who are in possession of sensitive commercial information can publish or reveal to other people. • Reporting of elections.
During an election period, broadcasters and newspapers must ensure that their coverage does not unfairly favour a particular candidate, which is why they will usually publish the full list of candidates when doing a story about one of them. • Some parliamentary proceedings are restricted from publication or broadcast in certain circumstances eg Parliamentary TV footage cannot be broadcast during a satirical TV show such as Have I Got New For You.
• Corruption. Public officials who have accepted payment for giving information to journalists were prosecuted and jailed, and at least one senior police officer who did not receive any money but gave information to journalists was also investigated and arrested, although I don't know if he was prosecuted. Judicial limits on speech • Contempt of court. If you breach an order made by a court which forbids publication of certain information, you can be sent to prison.
• Section 33 or Section 45 orders. Courts have the power to order that children involved in court cases should not be identified. This can mean that adults may not be identified if by identifying them it would lead people to the identity of the child. So for example, a father who raped his daughter could not be named in a report if the relationship to his victim was published. Jigsaw identification is an issue here. • Children involved in youth court proceedings.
They are automatically granted anonymity. The press are allowed into youth courts but cannot identify any parties. • Victims of sexual offences. Rape victims and other victims of sex offences have an automatic right to lifetime anonymity.
If they want a story to be published, they must waive that right, in writing. • Family proceedings. These are beginning to open up, but in general family courts have been closed to the public, and publishing some information from these courts would be contempt of court. • Various other tribunals with no public right of access.
• Closed Material Procedures. Aka 'secret courts' - these procedures are used in cases involving sensitive intelligence material. No one is allowed to see the material except the judge - especially not the defendant - and the proceedings are heavily restricted from publication. • there are probably lots more that I've forgotten. Civil limits on speech: • Defamation. Libel is the written form of defamation, slander is the spoken form.
If you say or publish something that will lower someone in the minds of right-thinking people, then you can be sued for defamation. The plaintiff has to prove only that the words were defamatory, that they were published and that they identified the plaintiff.
• The respondent eg newspaper has various defences: • justification ie that the defamatory words were true, • fair comment ie that the words were an honestly held opinion based on fact, • qualified privilege ie that the words were said in specific public settings such as council meeting, a police press conference and others. There is a right of reply. • absolute privilege ie that the words were said in a court of law or Parliament.
• Confidentiality/Privacy. The law of confidentiality evolved into a de facto 'privacy law' due to precedents set in the High Court and Court of Appeal based on arguments that sprang from the Human Rights Act, right to a private and family life. It means that it is possible to gain damages if information is published that someone would ordinarily expect to remain private and that publication has therefore breached the HRA.
It's also possible to obtain an injunction preventing publication although this is an ever-changing area of law. • Breach of copyright. Those are the main ones. I haven't really mentioned the regulation of the press and broadcasters, although broadcasting regulations are backed by statute so breaching broadcasting rules can result in a fine or in a broadcaster being taken off air.
Update: It occurred to me that I haven't mentioned the chilling effects of legislation and state action on speech in the UK. If people fear that by speaking about something they will get into trouble, they will self-censor and therefore there is no need to enact legislation to combat it.
Surveillance of journalists, for example, and the prosecution of journalistic sources as part of Operation Elveden have both had significant impacts on the willingness of people to say things in public. Reporters Without Borders places the UK at 38 in its rankings of world press freedom.
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