This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Right To Freedom Of Expression: R. V. Keegstra

3315 words - 13 pages

Introduction

Entrenched within the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms lies the fundamental rights that Canadian citizens share. The primary freedoms recognized within Section 2 of the Charter, such as the freedom of speech and expression, are necessary for a free and democratic society. Yet, a crucial conflict of rights exists within the system when the freedom of expression is used to perpetuate willful hatred against a certain individual or group. Controversy arises from this conflict first and foremost because the freedom of expression is meant to secure each person the right to express ideas and opinions without governmental interference, irrespective of what that opinion may be. In this paper, I will discuss the conflicting views of restricting the freedom of expression when it is used to promote hatred. I refer to the insights offered by Joel Feinberg and Joseph Raz to advance the view that the “right” to freedom of expression is not final and absolute, as expressions of hated do in fact cause real harm to people, and there rights too must be taken into consideration. Fundamental rights should be viewed as a privilege, which includes a responsibility to respect and value the rights of others to provide for a truly liberal democracy. I will refer to the landmark judicial decision in the Canadian Supreme Court case of R. v. Keegstra to argue that the rights of individuals and groups to be afforded the right to respect and dignity outweigh any claim to freedom of expression.
R v. Keegstra: s. 2 (b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms versus s. 319 (2) of the Criminal Code
The case, R. v. Keegstra, constructs a framework concerning whether the freedom of expression should be upheld in a democratic society, even when it is used to perpetuate deliberate hatred. In the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, underlined in section 2, are the fundamental freedoms that Canadian citizens share within the Canadian constitution. “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and (d) freedom of association” (CITATION). S. 2(b) clearly states that Canadian citizens have a right to express their personal opinions and beliefs, free from government interference. Yet, it is noted in Section 1 of the Charter that “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society” (CITATION). Therefore, the freedom of expression is only guaranteed in Canada when it adheres to the confinements of the law. The conflict arises when we turn to the Canadian Criminal Code. Section 319 (2) of the code, under the willful promotion of hatred, states that “ Every one who, by communicating statements, other than...

Find Another Essay On The Right to Freedom of Expression: R. v. Keegstra

Freedom of Expression on the Internet

3977 words - 16 pages , or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”[i] The First Amendment has been enforced at different levels depending on the type of media itself. Television and radio are both broadcast media and are under strict government regulation as to content (for example, advertising

Freedom Of Expression Essay

2612 words - 10 pages may be guilty of violating the bounds of the First Amendment by publicly offending others through obscenity or racism. Americans have developed a distinct disposition toward the freedom of expression throughout history.The First Amendment clearly voices a great American respect toward the freedom of religion. It also prevents the government from 'abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble

Mill's Freedom of Expression

1305 words - 6 pages pleasure such as drinking and gambling, which will bring lower utility. He is concern on individual freedom of expression, thinking that such libertarian ideal in a person that had brought to the Enlightenment of Europe is disappearing within society in the 19th century England and the Western world. This paper will convey Mill’s arguments for freedom of expression and its acceptance. Freedom of expression according to Mill is the essence of

Freedom of Expression

691 words - 3 pages Freedom of Expression Freedom of expression, and open access to media, are as fundamental to the survival of Progress as the sun and rain are to the survival of planet Earth. Yet censorship remains a traditional response of any group that finds itself offended at another's message or creative indulgence. The argument that because they serve the "public interest," media should willingly accept a moral arbiter to decide what will and what

The Right of Reigious Freedom

1346 words - 6 pages . Other rights and freedoms bear a close relationship to religion and belief for example the right to freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association. Analysts have how ever noted that the right to freedom of religion and belief generates competing claims not only with other fundamental rights such as freedom of expression but also with in the right to religious liberty itself. The U.N. Human rights Committee

Freedom of Expression Is Vital to a Free Society

1257 words - 5 pages inappropriate material. The U.S. is no exception in facing this type of dilemma. In the book, Civil Rights and Liberties in the 21st Century, author John C. Domino details several issues concerning the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression. Domino’s first point is related to subversive political speech, which is in reference to the clear and present danger doctrine. The doctrine came about from a Supreme Court ruling, Schenck v

Freedom of Speech and Expression

1257 words - 6 pages foundations of democracy, but at the same time, freedom does not imply anarchy, and the right to exercise free expression does not include the right to do unjustified harm to others. Freedom of expression is also known as an American form of human rights that is intertwined directly to the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution as well. This freedom was granted as the first written constitution of the democratic government for the United

Uniforms and Freedom of Expression

1256 words - 5 pages Does wearing a school uniform really make a difference in the learningprocess? Ever wonder what is the purpose of wearing a school uniform in thefirst place? If all of the students are dressed alike, it seems like it would bepretty tough to express your freedom of expression through attire. Manystudents, parents, and administrators have different opinions on the strictenforcement of a wearing school uniform. Some religious students might notbe

Litigation of R. v. Buhay

1519 words - 6 pages The litigation of R. v. Buhay is a case where the Charter of rights and freedoms was violated by the policing parties but maintained and performed by the Supreme Court of Canada. This litigation began after two individuals; of which one was Mervyn Buhay, rented a locker at the Winnipeg bus depot. Buhay began to distract the security guards while his friend placed a duffel bag in the locker they had rented. After they left, the security guards

The Rhetorical Image of Freedom: Phillis Wheatley's poem "To the Right Honorable William…"

1389 words - 6 pages In Phillis Wheatley's poem, To the Right Honorable William…, evokes a spirit of an American vision that undermines that of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, by reminding the Earl of Dartmouth that all should have freedom but for those who have obtained it, should not forget to thank God. Thomas Jefferson's vision of America is almost the same as Wheatley's with one major difference, his version doesn't include African

The Pursuit of Potential: America’s Economic Freedom and Right to Education

679 words - 3 pages American’s economic freedom creates an environment that allows citizens to pursue their interests and achieve greater prosperity. This freedom gives each citizen great power and potential. Without it, they could lose their rights to life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. An individual who utilized his economic freedom and his right to an education was Michael Dell. America’s unique economic freedoms give citizens the opportunity to educate

Similar Essays

Freedom Of Expression? R V. Zundel In Depth Case Analysis

1881 words - 8 pages Thesis Statement:The Dictionary of Canadian Law defines the term "freedom of expression" as "Permitting free expression to the end of promoting truth, political or social participation, and self-fulfilment. That purpose extends to the protection of minority beliefs which the majority regard as wrong or false." R. v. Zundel.It was fair? Unlawful?Profile of the Law:Criminal Code of CanadaSpreading False NewsSection 181Every one who wilfully

Freedom Of Religion And Freedom Of Expression: Tinker V. Des Moines

1865 words - 7 pages ? The first amendment states some of the freedoms we have. These are freedom of religion and freedom of expression. These include the right to free speech, press, assembly, and to petition the government. The reason for wanting to wear the black armbands was to show their anti-war belief in the Vietnam War. Rebelling against the authority figures’ ruling, three students wore the armbands and got suspended. The students’ names are John F. Tinker, who

The War Of Freedom Of Expression

1935 words - 8 pages 'Taking on anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers in the sanctified courtroom environment is like responding to someone who calls your mother a prostitute. The right to freedom of expression can be described as a war. It is a war that has lasted for centuries and may last for centuries more. It is a war between freedom of expression and social intolerance. In this war there are many battles. The battle on which this brief essay centers itself is the

The Limits Of Freedom Of Expression

3227 words - 13 pages ) Mill’s Liberalism. Philosophical Quarterly 13. —— (1980) Privacy and the Right to Privacy. Philosophy, 55: 17-38 —— (1982) Limits to Freedom of Expression. J. Value Inquiry, 16: 47-58. Mill, J. S. (1948[1859]) On Liberty. London, Dent, Everyman. Pullman, P. (2005) Against ‘Identity’. In: Appignanesi, L (eds) (2005) Free Expression is No Offence. London, Penguin Books. Simester, A.P. and Hirsch, A. V. (2002) Rethinking the Offense Principle. Legal