Two Rights of Free Speech

21 Pages Posted: 3 May 2018  

Andrei Marmor

Cornell University - Law School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2018

Abstract

My main argument in this paper is that the right to freedom of expression is not a single right, complex as it may be, but spans two separate rights that I label the right to speak and the right to hear. Roughly, the right to speak stands for the right of a person to express freely whatever they wish to communicate to some other persons or to the public at large. The right to hear stands for the right to have free and unfettered access to any kind of content that has been communicated by others. The right to speak and the right to hear are two separate rights, grounded in different kinds of interests. I try to show that this division of rights and their respective rationales can be utilized to explain how we think about some of the limits of the right to freedom of expression, particularly in the context of conflicts between the right to speak and the right to hear, conflicts that are rather pervasive. I also argue, though perhaps less conclusively, that in thinking about the limits of freedom of expression, an exclusive focus on the harm principle would be misguided. There is no reason to deny that speech is often harmful, sometimes very much so, but the prevention of harm is not sufficient to justify legal prohibition, at least not in this case.

Suggested Citation

Marmor, Andrei, Two Rights of Free Speech (June 2018). Ratio Juris, Vol. 31, Issue 2, pp. 139-159, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3172416 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/raju.12201

Andrei Marmor (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/faculty/bio_andrei_marmor.cfm

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
0
Abstract Views
49
PlumX