The Limits of Free Speech: Democratic Legitimacy in Canada and New Zealand
44 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2016 Last revised: 11 Jun 2016
Date Written: 2013
This paper explores the balancing act between freedom of expression and hate speech. It takes its cue from a recent dialogue between Ronald Dworkin and Jeremy Waldron concerning democratic legitimacy. This dialogue forms the conceptual starting point for the paper, and a detailed analysis of democratic principles will follow. Robert Post’s participatory theory of democracy is critiqued, and his recent conversion to democratic relativism is analysed. The operation of hate speech laws in Canada and New Zealand will both be assessed in order to see how both of these countries treat the issue of democratic legitimacy.
Keywords: hate speech, Freedom of Expression, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982 New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation