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Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech

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Published by Nicolau

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Published by: Nicolau on Dec 10, 2009
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Freedom of speech
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or  prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,or of the press; or the right of 
the people peaceably to assemble, andto petition the government for a redress of grievances.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending toomuch liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it.
To Archibald Stuart, Philadelphia,23 December 1791
Cited in Jefferson, Thomas (2002)."1791". in JerryHolmes.
Thomas Jefferson: A Chronology of HisThoughts
. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. p. 128.ISBN0742521168.
Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free tocombat it.
After all, if freedom of speech means anything, it means awillingness to stand and let people say things with which we disagree, and which doweary us considerably.
Zechariah Chafee; in Chafee (1920).
. Harcourt, Braceand Howe. pp. p. 366.
And I honor the man who is willing to sink Half his present repute for the freedom to think,And, when he has thought, be his cause strong or weak,Will risk t'other half for the freedom to speak.
 A Fable for Critics
(1848), Pt. V -
, st. 3
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
Evelyn Beatrice Hall, Ch. 7 : Helvetius : The Contradiction, p. 199Freedom of speech
is the freedom to speak withoutcensorship and\or limitation. The synonymous term
freedom of expression
is sometimes used to indicate not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country andthe right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on "hate speech".The right to freedom of speech is recognized as ahuman rightunder Article 19 of theUniversal Declaration of Human Rightsand recognized ininternational human rights lawin the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights(ICCPR). The ICCPR recognizes the rightto freedom of speech as "the right to hold opinions without interference. Everyone shall have theright to freedom of expression".
Furthermore freedom of speech is recognized in European,inter-American and African regional human rights law.Freedom of speech and expression are closely related, yet distinct from, the concept of  freedomof thought.
The right to freedom of speech and expression
Freedom of speech, or the freedom of expression, is recognized in international and regionalhuman rights law. The right is enshrined in Article 19 of theInternational Covenant on Civil andPolitical Rights, Article 10 of theEuropean Convention on Human Rights, Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rightsand Article 9 of theAfrican Charter on Human andPeoples' Rights.
The freedom of speech can be found in early human rights documents, such as Declaration of theRights of Man and of the Citizen(1789), a key document of theFrench Revolution.
TheDeclaration provides for freedom of expression in Article 11, which states that:"The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man.Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law."
Based on John Stuart Mill's arguments, freedom of speech today is understood as a multi-faceted right that includes not only the right to express, or disseminate, information and ideas, but threefurther distinct aspects:
the right to seek information and ideas;
the right to receive information and ideas;
the right to impart information and ideas.
International, regional and national standards also recognize that freedom of speech, as thefreedom of expression, includes any medium, be it orally, in written, in print, through the
Internetor through art forms. This means that the protection of freedom of speech as a rightincludes not only the content, but also the means of expression.
Relationship to other rights
The right to freedom of speech is closely related to other rights, and may be limited whenconflicting with other rights (see Limitations on freedom of speech). The right to freedom of speech is particularly important for media, which plays a special role as the bearer of the generalright to freedom of expression for all (seefreedom of the press).
The right to freedom of expression is also related to the right to a fair trialand court proceeding which may limit access to the search for information or determine the opportunity and means in which freedom of expression is manifested within court proceedings.
As a general principle freedom of expression may not limit the right to privacy, as well as the honor and reputation of others.However greater latitude is given when criticism of public figures is involved.
Origins and academic freedom
Freedom of speech and expression has a long history that predates modern international humanrights instruments. Ancient Atheniansbelieved that the power of persuasion is the most enduring force in a culture, one that must not and can not be stifled.
It is thought that ancient Athens’democratic ideology of free speech emerged in the later 6th or early 7th Century BC.
InIslamicethicsfreedom of speech was first declared in theRashidunperiod by thecaliph Umar in the 7th century.
 In theAbbasid Caliphateperiod, freedom of speech was also declared by al-Hashimi (a cousin of Caliphal- Ma'mun) in a letter to one of the religious opponents he was attempting toconvertthroughreason.
 According to George Makdisi and Hugh Goddard, "the idea of academic freedom" in universitieswas "modelled on Islamic custom" as practiced in the medievalMadrasahsystem from the 9th century. Islamic influence was "certainly discernible inthe foundation of the first deliberately-planned university" in Europe, theUniversity of NaplesFederico IIfounded by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor in 1224.
Freedom of speech and truth
First page of John Milton's 1644 edition of 
One of the earliest Western defences of freedom of expression is 
 (1644) by English poet and political writer John Milton. Milton wrote in reaction to an attempt by the Englishrepublican parliament to prevent "seditious, unreliable, unreasonable and unlicensed pamphlets".Milton advanced a number of arguments in defence of freedom of speech: a nation's unity iscreated through blending individual differences rather than imposing homogeneity from above;that the ability to explore the fullest range of ideas on a given issue was essential to any learning

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