In the UK, the use of “superinjunctions” to prevent media from publishing intimate details about the private lives of public figures has been widely condemned by free speech advocates, who see them as a privilege of the wealthy and inimical to the public interest. A recent parliamentary report has, however, endorsed the judgement of the British courts, even recommending that breaches of privacy by online media be “filtered”. Leading free speech expert Eric Barendt defends the report against its critics.
Free Speech Debate
To argue for hate speech legislation on the basis that it protects the dignity of individuals is to confuse an interest with a fundamental right, argues Ivan Hare. Not only is legislation ineffective, it helps disseminate the very thing it intends to suppress.
Free speech advocates opposed to the prohibition of hate speech tend to underrate the harm hate speech causes, argues Jeremy Waldron. Where it exists, such legislation upholds a public good by protecting the basic dignitary order of society.