43-6: Freedom of Speech Archives - LawNow Magazine

In Canada and elsewhere, freedom of speech is on the endangered list

Freedom of speech. Freedom of the press. These phrases may conjure up Hollywood-style images of noble activists and principled reporters butting heads with those in power – and winning. However, the reality is often far different: surveillance, gag orders, expensive and oppressive lawsuits, and activists and journalists being arrested, imprisoned – and in extreme cases, […]


John Cooper
John Cooper, EdD, is an educator and researcher who has taught journalism and corporate communications at Durham College and Centennial College.

The Key Provisions and Case Law Which Define Hate Speech

Within Canadian society, hate speech and the promotion of hatred is addressed at both the federal and provincial level. At the federal level, the key piece of legislation addressing this issue is the Criminal Code. Section 319(2) makes it an offence to publicly communicate statements that wilfully promote hatred against identifiable groups. The term ‘identifiable […]


Ryley Schmidt
Ryley Schmidt is a law student at the Faculty of Law, University of Alberta and a volunteer with Pro Bono Students Canada.

When Can the Right to Freedom of Expression be Curtailed?

The right to express our opinions is a crucial element of a democracy. Freedom of expression is a basic characteristic of personal development. It gives us the right to dissent and the right to be heard. We can make our own choices about our basic beliefs by being exposed to different thoughts and opinions (see: […]


Myrna El Fakhry Tuttle
Myrna El Fakhry Tuttle, JD, MA, LLM, is the Research Associate at the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre in Calgary, Alberta.

Evolution of our Freedom of Expression

We tend to take for granted that in Canada we are generally free to express, and to publish or broadcast, our views and opinions about almost any subject imaginable. However, it was not always this way. In early times, those who espoused views which were not in keeping with the majority, or with the powerful, […]


Charles Davison
Charles Davison is the Senior Criminal Defence Counsel with the Somba K’e office of the Legal Services Board in Yellowknife, N.W.T.

Compelled Expression

The core values which free expression promotes include self-fulfilment, participation in social and political decision-making, and the communal exchange of ideas. Free speech protects human dignity and the right to think and reflect freely on one’s circumstances and condition. It allows a person to speak not only for the sake of expression itself, but also […]


Peter Bowal
Peter Bowal
Peter Bowal is a Professor of Law at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta.

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