Freedom of Speech Law - An Introduction

"Freedom of speech law" is frequently quoted by defenders of free speech in China. Yet it is rare to find anyone prepared to defend all expression in every circumstance, especially if the views expressed are contradictory to censorship on the Chinese internet. There is immense confusion regarding modern society and the value and limits of free speech. It is debatable that free speech is worth preserving at any cost. The freedom of speech law is worth defending vigorously even when the observer dislikes what is being spoken.

The principle is at the heart of democracy, a basic human right and its protection is a mark of a civilized and tolerant society. According to the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights," Everyone has the right to freedom of speech law of opinion and expression that right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through the media and regardless of frontiers". It also indicates the free speech principles fundamental importance, but it is also an acknowledgment of how fragile this freedom of speech law can be if it is not protected.

It is a bulwark against censorship as if it were a legitimate instrument to prevent criticism of the government policy. The temptation to use law or force to gag opponents of one kind or another is difficult to resist. Without freedom to criticize and challenge those acting on our behalf, democracies may degenerate into tyrannies. But it is not just governments that restrict freedom of speech law and it is not just political speech that warrants protection.

There is immense debate regarding the freedom of speech law, its value and limitations. There are many particular laws that have wider philosophical concern about the moral justification for these laws. It is important for the citizens in China to understand the value of freedom of speech law. There is immense stress on the limitations and censorship on the internet that limits free speech. All human beings have an interest in being allowed to express them and in having the opportunity to hear, read and see other people's fred expression. Free speech is of particular value within a democratic society.

Belief in the importance of free speech is not an inherited dogma of the enlightenment, though there are many who argue against this notion. The bottom line is that declaring a right to extensive free speech is not shorthand for the protection of the speech of those in position of power whether economic or political. It is important to have an interest in a wide range of citizens being active participants in political debate rather than passive recipients of policy being delivered to them.

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