Hate Speech, Sex Speech, Free Speech

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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. Technically, as a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly rather than a treaty, it is not legally binding in its entirety on members of the UN. Furthermore, whilst some of its provisions are considered to form part of customary international law , there is dispute as to which.

Freedom of speech is granted unambiguous protection in international law by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which is binding on around nations. In adopting the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Australia and the Netherlands insisted on reservations to Article 19 insofar as it might be held to affect their systems of regulating and licensing broadcasting.

The majority of African constitutions provide legal protection for freedom of speech, with the extent and enforcement varying from country to country.

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Eritrea allows no independent media and uses draft evasion as a pretext to crack down on dissent, spoken or otherwise. In Eritrea since , fourteen journalists have been imprisoned in unknown places without a trial. In light of South Africa 's racial and discriminatory history, particularly the Apartheid era, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of precludes expression that is tantamount to the advocacy of hatred based on some listed grounds.

Section 16 makes the following provisions:. In , the South African Constitutional Court set an international precedent in the case of Laugh It Off Promotions CC v South African Breweries International when it found that the small culture jamming company Laugh-it-Off's right to freedom of expression outweighs the protection of trademark of the world's second largest brewery.

Blasphemy against religion is illegal in Sudan under Blasphemy laws. Freedom of speech is a controversial issue and a subject of uncertainty in Tunisia. Artists, journalists, and citizens face harassment when they try to express their ideas freely. There is also a lack of experience and traditions with free speech on the part of Tunisian justice and judges following the Tunisian revolution. On 13 June Tunisian Rapper, Alaa Yacoubi aka "Weld El 15" , was imprisoned and given a two-year jail sentence because his song "El boulisia Kleb" "Cops Are Dogs" was considered an incitement to violence and hatred.

The court judgement was the subject of an appeal and the decision was announced for 2 July , while Alaa Yaacoubi remains in prison. Several Asian countries provide formal legal guarantees of freedom of speech to their citizens.


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These are not, however, implemented in practice in some countries. They include the use of brutal force in cracking down on bloggers in Burma , Vietnam and Cambodia , Les Majeste in Thailand , the use of libel and internal security laws in Singapore and Malaysia , and the killing of journalists in the Philippines. The Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of speech to every citizen, but itself allows significant restrictions. In India, citizens are free to criticize government, politics, politicians, bureaucracy and policies. However, speech can be restricted on grounds of security, morality, and incitement.

There have been landmark cases in the Indian Supreme Court that have affirmed the nation's policy of allowing free press and freedom of expression to every citizen, with other cases in which the Court has upheld restrictions on freedom of speech and of the press. Article 19 of the Indian constitution states that:. Freedom of speech is also restricted by Section A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with sedition and makes any speech or expression which brings contempt towards government punishable by imprisonment extending from three years to life.

Blasphemy against religion is illegal in Indonesia under blasphemy laws. In some cases in Indonesia to criticize the government by mentioning a name of government administration is still considered wrong. Bangladesh constitution states that:. Blasphemy against Islam is illegal in Iran. According to the Press Freedom Index for , Iran ranked th out of nations. Only three other countries — Eritrea , North Korea , and Turkmenistan - had more restrictions on news media freedom than Iran. The Supreme Court of Israel Levi v. Southern District Police Commander ruled that:.

The right of demonstration and procession is a fundamental human right in Israel. It is recognized along with free speech , or emanating therefrom - as belonging to the freedoms that characterize Israel as a democratic state. The Democracy Index of includes a freedom of speech and media ranking in which Israel scores 9 out of 10 points, placing it among the top 30 out of countries.

An independent press, an effective judiciary, and a functioning democratic political system combined to promote freedom of speech and of the press". Incitement to discrimination including incitment to boycott an entity solely based on its affiliation with Israel [note 1] and slander are civil offences, in which those affected by them can launch lawsuits. Incitment to violence or racism is a criminal offence, which can result in a prison sentence. Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed.

In May , the Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi put forward a headline "Media should practice voluntary self-censorship", [27] saying there is no such thing as unlimited freedom and the media should not be abashed of "voluntary self-censorship" to respect cultural norms, different societies hold different values and while it might be acceptable in secular countries to depict a caricature of Muhammad, it was clearly not the case here. He said the government also wanted the media not to undermine racial and religious harmony to the extent that it could threaten national security and public order.

Rather, they are essential for a healthy society. Articles 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees freedom of speech and expression, and freedom of the press with certain restrictions. Article 35 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China claims that:. There is heavy government involvement in the media, with many of the largest media organizations being run by the Communist-Party-led government.

References to democracy , the free Tibet movement, Taiwan as an independent country, the Tiananmen Square Massacre , the Hong Kong protests , the Arab Spring , certain religious organizations and anything questioning the legitimacy of the Communist Party of China are banned from use in public and blocked on the Internet. Web portals including Microsoft 's MSN have come under criticism for aiding in these practices, including banning the word "democracy" from its chat-rooms in China. Social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat are banned as a whole and books and foreign films are subject to active censorship.

However, usage is still limited. Beijing has also lifted bans on foreign websites within the Shanghai free trade zone.


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  • Its censorship tactics vary from relatively moderate way of using monitoring systems and firewalls to an extreme end of jailing journalists, bloggers, and activists, as we can see from the recent example of the jailed Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo. No unit or individual may use the Internet to create, replicate, retrieve, or transmit the following kinds of information:. Article III Section 4 of the Constitution of the Philippines specifies that no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of expression. However, some laws limit this freedom, for example:.

    Blasphemy against Islam is illegal in Saudi Arabia, under punishment of death. The South Korean constitution guarantees freedom of speech, press, petition and assembly for its nationals.

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    However, behaviors or speeches in favor of the North Korean regime or communism can be punished by the National Security Law , though in recent years prosecutions under this law have been rare. There is a strict election law that takes effect a few months before elections which prohibits most speech that either supports or criticizes a particular candidate or party.

    One can be prosecuted for political parodies and even for wearing a particular color usually the color of a party. Some activists send leaflets by balloons to North Korea. The police has intervened and stopped some of the balloon releases in fear that North Korea may retaliate violently. This has resulted in critical discussion on freedom of expression and its limits due to safety concerns. Officially, the South Korean government insists on activists' right to freedom of expression. While the Thai constitution provides for freedom of expression, by law the government may restrict freedom of expression to preserve national security, maintain public order, preserve the rights of others, protect public morals, and prevent insults to Buddhism.

    The lese-majeste law makes it a crime, punishable by up to 15 years' imprisonment for each offense, to criticize, insult, or threaten the king, queen, royal heir apparent, or regent. Defamation is a criminal offense and parties that criticize the government or related businesses may be sued, setting the stage for self-censorship. Censorship expanded considerably starting in during the Thaksin Shinawatra administration and after the military coup.

    Prosecutions for lese-majeste offenses increased significantly starting in Journalists are generally free to comment on government activities and institutions without fear of official reprisal, but they occasionally practice self-censorship, particularly with regard to the monarchy and national security. Broadcast media are subject to government censorship, both directly and indirectly, and self-censorship is evident. Under the Emergency Decree in the three southernmost provinces, the government may restrict print and broadcast media, online news, and social media networks there.

    However, this amended act is currently awaiting the approval of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun [50]. In the United Arab Emirates UAE , it is a crime to use a computer network to "damage the national unity or social peace". Australia does not have explicit freedom of speech in any constitutional or statutory declaration of rights, with the exception of political speech which is protected from criminal prosecution at common law per Australian Capital Television Pty Ltd v Commonwealth. There is however an implied freedom of speech that was recognised in Lange v Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

    In the High Court of Australia judged in the case of Australian Capital Television Pty Ltd v Commonwealth that the Australian Constitution , by providing for a system of representative and responsible government, implied the protection of political communication as an essential element of that system. This freedom of political free speech is a shield against government prosecution, not a shield against private prosecution civil law. It is also less a causal mechanism in itself, rather than simply a boundary which can be adjudged to be breached.

    Despite the court's ruling, however, not all political speech appears to be protected in Australia and several laws criminalise forms of speech that would be protected in republic countries such as the United States. In , Albert Langer was imprisoned for advocating that voters fill out their ballot papers in a way that was invalid. The Howard Government expanded sedition law as part of the war on terror.

    Media Watch ran a series on the amendments on ABC television. Bolt was found to have contravened the Racial Discrimination Act Cth in following comments regarded to be representative of a "eugenic" approach to aboriginal identity. In the Supreme Court of Victoria issued a blanket media gag order on the reporting of a high-profile international corruption case. The right to freedom of speech is not explicitly protected by common law in New Zealand, but is encompassed in a wide range of doctrines aimed at protecting free speech.

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    This provision reflects the more detailed one in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The significance of this right and its importance to democracy has been emphasised by the New Zealand courts. It has been described as the primary right without which the rule of law cannot effectively operate. The right to freedom of expression also extends to the right to seek access to official records. This is provided for in the Official Information Act The European Convention on Human Rights ECHR , signed on 4 November , guarantees a broad range of human rights to inhabitants of member countries of the Council of Europe , which includes almost all European nations.

    These rights include Article 10, which entitles all citizens to free expression. Echoing the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this provides that:.

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    Any person who feels his or her rights have been violated under the Convention by a state party can take a case to the Court. Judgements finding violations are binding on the States concerned and they are obliged to execute them. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe monitors the execution of judgements, particularly to ensure payment of the amounts awarded by the Court to the applicants in compensation for the damage they have sustained.

    For example, the Council of Europe Explanatory Report of the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime states the "European Court of Human Rights has made it clear that the denial or revision of 'clearly established historical facts — such as the Holocaust — [ France judgment of 23 September Each party to the Convention must alter its laws and policies to conform with the Convention. Some, such as Ireland or the United Kingdom, have expressly incorporated the Convention into their domestic laws. This court has heard many cases relating to freedom of speech, including cases that have tested the professional obligations of confidentiality of journalists and lawyers, and the application of defamation law, a recent example being the so-called " McLibel case ".

    Citizens of the European Union enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration. Currently, all members of the European Union are signatories of the European Convention on Human Rights in addition to having various constitutional and legal rights to freedom of expression at the national level. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union has been legally binding since December 1, when the Treaty of Lisbon became fully ratified and effective. The European Court of Justice takes into account both the Charter and the Convention when making its rulings.

    According to the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Union accedes to the European Convention as an entity in its own right, making the Convention binding not only on the governments of the member states but also on the supranational institutions of the EU. It is the first freedom of the charter's second division - political rights.

    It reads as follows: Specific limitations of the freedom of speech within the meaning of Article 17 4 may be found in the Criminal Code as well in other enactments. These include the prohibition of:.

    Most of the limitations of the free speech in the Czech Republic aim at protection of rights of individuals or minority groups. Unlike in some other European countries there are no limits on speech criticizing or denigrating government, public officials or state symbols. Freedom of speech in Denmark is granted by the Constitution Grundloven: Finland has been ranked in the Press Freedom Index as the country with the best press freedom in —, —, and — According to the Constitution, everyone has freedom of expression, entailing the right to express, disseminate and receive information, opinions and other communications without prior prevention by anyone.

    A demonstration or other public assembly requires no permission from the police or other authorities. If a public meeting is held outdoors, the police must be notified of the event no later than six hours before the assembly is scheduled to begin, but the police have no authority to prohibit the event. Defamation is a crime only if the target is a private person. Defamation of corporations is never a crime unless it's covered by competition regulations or similar legislation.

    Sentences have never been given for publishing pro-drug propaganda. There are no restrictions regarding obscenity. It's illegal to display obscene visual material in a public place in a manner that is likely to cause public offense. Drawings and animations showing child pornography are legal. While bestiality is legal as such, videos and photographs showing sex with animals are banned. After the abolition of film censorship there are no restrictions on sex shown in movies regardless of the venue of display, violent pornography being the only exception to the rule.

    Disparagement of the flag of Finland is an offense that can be punished with a fine. The ban specifically includes using a flag with unauthorized addenda. Blasphemy and hate speech are forbidden. The blasphemy law applies to all religions. The hate speech law protects people of different sexual orientations, races, skin colors, places of birth, national or ethnic origins, religions or beliefs and disabled people. The hate speech law is relatively lax. It prohibits only threatening, insulting and defaming the aforementioned groups, while criticism and expression of opinions against these groups of people are not per se forbidden.

    For instance, unlike in 16 other European countries and Canada, denying the Holocaust is legal. During the years — there were 21 successful court cases regarding hate speech. The expressions ruled illegal include stating that some groups are trash, a group is a racial monster that needs to be destroyed, and comparing asylum seekers to animals and saying that violence against foreigners is acceptable. A Finnish member of EU parliament Jussi Halla-aho was sentenced for both blasphemy and hate speech in by the Supreme Court after saying that " Islam is a paedophilia religion" and "it's a national and possibly even genetic special characteristic of the Somali people to rob passers-by and to be parasites living on the tax-payers' money".

    The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen , of constitutional value, states, in its article The Press Law of , as amended, guarantees freedom of the press, subject to several exceptions. France does not implement any preliminary government censorship for written publications. Any violation of law must be processed through the courts. The government has a commission recommending movie classifications , the decisions of which can be appealed before the courts. Another commission oversees publications for the youth. The Minister of the Interior can prohibit the sale of pornographic publications to minors, and can also prevent such publications from being publicly displayed or advertised; such decisions can be challenged before administrative courts.

    He writes that racist speech, which he is using as hate speech, has,. Shiffrin also tries to hold the expresser of these, racist or not, opinions as responsible for actions that others take that may be influenced by their opinion. People who do not directly call for violence against individuals or people should not be held responsible for actions that others take. For instance, last year there was a shooting at a congressional baseball game practice.

    Nobody believes that the speech that democratic legislators were using should have been banned even though those words, most likely, partially motivated the shooter to commit the vile act. Senator Bernie Sanders condemned the mans actions and rightfully so, but no one believed that Sanders shared even a fraction of blame.

    There are also those who oppose the idea of banning hate speech that are in the scholarly field. Such as James Weinstein, who wrote a journal on how banning hate speech undermines antidiscrimination laws. Many people viewed this journal as controversial and there were many replies written about his piece, but what he says is not ridiculous. In the piece Weinstein writes:. Laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, sex, or sexual orientation are an essential means by which modern liberal democracies promote equality and protect human dignity.

    Consistent with these laudable goals, most liberal democracies, with the notable exception of the United States, also prohibit hate speech, including expression that demeans people based on characteristics protected by antidiscrimination laws. Ironically, however, hate speech restrictions can undermine the legitimacy of antidiscrimination laws, both in terms of their popular acceptance but even more crucially with respect to the morality of their enforcement.

    For instance, laws forbidding people from expressing the view, as is the case in several European jurisdictions, that homosexuality is immoral or disordered, can destroy the moral justification of enforcing laws against sexual orientation discrimination against religious dissenters.

    Conversely, the ability of Americans to freely oppose antidiscrimination laws by publicly expressing bigoted ideas about groups protected by these laws strengthens the legitimacy of enforcing these provisions even when doing so infringes upon deeply held religious convictions. He states that without anyone expressing the awful opinions about groups of people, then the more important antidiscrimination laws are being made void. Hate speech laws are also a slippery slope all in themselves, and I know that slippery slope is a logical fallacy, but it applies here more than other places since there would be legislation it might complicate things.

    We face a complicated dialect. With each step, our reasoning strays even further from democratic foundations. At one remove from democratic process, the right of free expression protects unpopular speakers by limiting the ability of legislatures or judges to silence them. The right carves out an exception to the rule of democratic process in order to safeguard democracy itself. At a second remove, however, hate speech bans place limits upon those limits. That second step equally aims to protect vulnerable citizens, and so preserve democracy. But then at a third remove, those hate speech bans must face limits of their own.

    Legislatures and courts must determine how far they extend. They must therefore place limits on the limits on the limits imposed upon democracy. Heinze writes that the already in place limits would have to be pushed back and then those limits would have to be reevaluated by the courts. This makes the process long, but it also slowly takes away the rights of a democracy. Hate speech is very controversial now, in America. Thus, to narrowly tailor the aim and the scope of the article, I focus on two major points which I perceive as the most diverging aspects with regard to the legal handling of hate speech on constitutional level in respective legal orders: The argument of the article is twofold: I argue that the American conception of free speech as a preferred freedom is necessarily built on strong originalist constitutional interpretation and shaped by socio-cultural context of its history.

    It is my observation, based on landmark decisions specifically addressing group vilifying hate speech, that Canadian courts have not been hesitant to strike down such expressions. My hope is that at the end of these demonstrations, the subtle yet disparate juridical identity of Canadian freedom of expression through its coping with hate speech will be established as compared to that of the American free speech.

    It is a juriscultural product that was historically forged by a constant alertness against governmental intrusion on the fundamental freedom and its abidance to the originalist interpretation of the First Amendment A. Canada, however, has declined to rank the same freedom above other equally fundamental rights, effectively creating an egalitarian-driven landscape of rights when rights are in collision course B.

    Indeed, speech as fundamental freedom enjoys an unmatched proclivity by American law. Beyond the proximate concern that empowering the government to regulate political speech would be an open invitation to abuse 13 , courts have vehemently refused to impose constraint on expressions of political nature It is in fact explicitly recognized and even encouraged by the U.

    Alvarez 21 for instance, the U. Supreme Court held that untruthful expression be given the same constitutional protection as truthful statement even if it was an intentional doing In fact, America remains to this day the sole country that has yet to adopt a comprehensive legal regime to suppress hateful speech or fake news for that matter in major Western nations This question has, in its subtlety, contributed to an interpretation in strong favor of free speech.

    An attempt to answer that question is located in the structuration of the First Amendment itself. The said Amendment does not offer any distinction nor elaborate on any possible legal circumstances that would trigger the passage of a law by the legislative body limiting the freedoms mentioned therein. The Amendment flatly forbids the congress from taking any actions placing a cap on the rudimentary freedoms.

    In his dissenting opinion in Beauharnais v. Justice Black was another fervent believer of this absolutist position. In particular, he tenaciously defended free speech as a bedrock principle that cannot be compromised against any ostensible excuses for safeguarding government interests New Hampshire 29 , this absolutist view was somewhat refuted with the Court narrating a number of exceptional instances in which speech would not fall under the protective ambit of the First Amendment Bref , though the absolute character of free speech may have eroded, it is unquestionable that free speech enjoys an unequivocal sentiment of predilection in American constitutional references.

    Free speech was, and continues to be, the first of the American freedoms. From the conception of the nation to post-colonial era to modern times some periods naturally more intensely than others , there has been a simmering attitude of suspicion against governmental intrusion upon the fundamental liberties of its citizens After all, the term means quite just that: Free speech has thus not only stuck as a permanent fixture in American constitutional life, but saw its stature extend to the cultural domains transcending and undetachable to American nativist identity.

    This confrontational model has had a determinative touch in the projection of the cultural image of free speech. The freedom is an unrestricted good of and for the people and its deprivation must be accompanied by pious compunction. In other words, it is not up to the government to cherry-pick which speech passes or fails; it is rather the driving forces of a free market, the competitive spirit within the pool of ideas that will ultimately sort out the wheat from the chaff.

    After all, there may be some truth into the assumption that the Canadian freedom of expression is not as aged as its counterpart in America One commentator even noted that the Canadian legal treatment of freedom of expression is not as complex as that of the United States Section 1 of the Charter in fact commences with the constitutional possibility to limit the fundamental rights even before they are proclaimed in the following section. The limit is not a mere decorum as the test is three-fold: This limitation clause indicates that the absolutist perception of rights has not succeeded to create a foothold on the Canadian constitutional soil.

    Freedom of expression is no exception. This denial of predisposition to speech freedom resonates with the purposive interpretation of judicial methodology that is undoubtedly Canadian. When words are that are uttered with the express intent of inflicting harm to others — especially those belonging to minority groups — it is obvious that hate speech is incompatible to the purposive spirit of the Charter.

    Although the case did not directly involve hate speech, it is very telling as to the horizontal attitude Canada has embraced in rights-reconciling operations. In considering whether the public airing and diffusion of materials that could inevitably cause prejudice to an ongoing trial, the Canadian Supreme Court declined from ranking one Charter right over the other.

    The Court rejected running into a methodological impasse of having to somehow grade the supposed status of constitutional rights. Instead, in a remarkable fashion, the Canadian approach generated a level-playing field for future cases where Charter rights will collide. Surely, free expression is a fundamental freedom but that does not mean it should enjoy a whole different categorization of its own. The American approach, however, has been for the most part characterized by a strong reluctance in limiting speech freedom and has fortified that abstentionist position through a narrowly developed set of criteria for justification of speech restriction.

    This has resulted in a reductionist interpretation of harm, a view that is wholly inadequate to cover the sensibility harms purported onto varied communities by hate speech B. In concrete terms, this means Canada has been far from reluctant in reining in hate speech from running rampant in civilized society no matter how paramount that freedom is. Beyond the obvious immediate psychological injury or physical distress to even long-term impairment of social relationships individual victims suffer at the repetitive exposure to hate speech 50 , Courts were steadfast to acknowledge that the corollary of such expression ultimately undermines the equal standing and human dignity of its intended audience.

    In particular, by perceiving extensively into the pervasive nature 51 and mushrooming effect 52 of this category of words, the Supreme Court of Canada has remained hypervigilant against the destructive power of hate speech to create and accumulate corrosive socio-political environment. Section of the Criminal code makes it an offence communicating expressions that publicly incite hatred 54 or willfully promote hatred against an identifiable group of people Numerous defense mechanisms 56 are put in place to keep the scope of the targeted category of speech narrow but nevertheless, it is an indictable offense punishable by imprisonment to up to two years.

    Section 1 of the Criminal Code makes advocacy or promotion of genocide an indictable offence that is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years In addition, there are provincial human rights legislations that further keep a tight grip on hate speech activity through its broad targeting of fundamentally discriminatory behaviors But what is even more remarkable — and that which further distinguishes from the American approach to impugned speech - has been the legal basis on which Canadian landmark hate speech jurisprudences relied upon to banish hate speech from Canadian soil.

    Keegstra 60 , a leading case in Canadian hate speech jurisprudence. Writing for the majority, Dickson C. Although the more recent case of Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission v. If free speech is an American exceptionalism, then multiculturalism is the Canadian equivalent to the former. This is a direct suggestion by the Court that multiculturalism is a constitutional principle 74 , synonymous with equality and standing tall next to speech freedom.

    The indicative list of implicit Charter values provided in Oakes 76 was a harbinger fertilizing the Canadian legal terrain for fostering a constitutional atmosphere amicable to group rights. In addition to section 27 of the Charter 78 that registers multiculturalism as a Canadian value, numerous sections are dedicated specifically in respect to and in recognition of other group rights such as minority language educational rights s.

    But so are group rights in Canada. When a freedom is distorted in such a way to disseminate and sow racially divisive messages, that liberty is perceived as a menace to the collective moral fabric of Canadian society. Constitutional rights belong to individual agents as much as they do to groups.

    As long as the Supreme Court maintains the culturally pluralistic vision of Canadian society, legislations displaying preferment toward collective interests are likely to triumph over free expression even at the cost of abandoning piercing individual expressions However, that common ground seems to shrink when the contested speech is subject to suppression purely due to its content that may hurt sensibilities of particular communities.

    Over the course of the last century, the First Amendment jurisprudence has developed a series of elaborate rules that would satisfy the necessary constitutional bar when restraining speech. Given their aged rulings, there is valid criticism that their mode of applicability may be outdated to adequate address the rising challenges in the field. That being said, the principles excavated from these cases have retained much of their initial influence in addressing modern constitutional challenges related to the treatment of hate speech issue in American law.

    Nevertheless, the decisions provided clear directions to show legally sufficient basis when suppressing speech activity. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of the defendant for violating the Espionage Act of by mailing thousands of pamphlets to drafted soldiers in which he essentially accused the government to have no right to send American citizens to fight war abroad.

    The reasoning in Schenck was later extended to Abrams v. New York 83 , in which the Supreme Court upheld a New York state statute that struck down the publication of utterances having the tendency to create danger to the public in the case, manifesto encouraging to overthrow the government even if the expression in question did not cause immediate clear and present danger.