8 Pages Posted: 13 May 2011
Date Written: May 3, 2003
Words matter. The speech we choose to utter affects those around us. The way we choose to express our ideas sometimes matters as much as the ideas themselves. This is true in all aspects of lawyering and, indeed, in life. Religions have long recognized the power of words. From the Biblical “in the beginning was the word” to the Muslim sanctity of the language of the Koran to the Buddhist core concept of “right speech,” people the world over understand that words have the power to hurt and the power to heal. Two problems facing the law are: to what extent should the law become involved in regulating speech, and what is the appropriate basis on which the law should decide whether to act.
Keywords: hate speech, freedom of speech
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