The Right to Freedom of Expression: R. v. Keegstra Essays

The Right to Freedom of Expression: R. v. Keegstra Essays

Length: 2813 words (8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview


Entrenched within the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms lies the fundamental rights that Canadian citizens share. The primary freedoms recognized within Section 2 of the Charter, such as the freedom of speech and expression, are necessary for a free and democratic society. Yet, a crucial conflict of rights exists within the system when the freedom of expression is used to perpetuate willful hatred against a certain individual or group. Controversy arises from this conflict first and foremost because the freedom of expression is meant to secure each person the right to express ideas and opinions without governmental interference, irrespective of what that opinion may be. In this paper, I will discuss the conflicting views of restricting the freedom of expression when it is used to promote hatred. I refer to the insights offered by Joel Feinberg and Joseph Raz to advance the view that the “right” to freedom of expression is not final and absolute, as expressions of hated do in fact cause real harm to people, and there rights too must be taken into consideration. Fundamental rights should be viewed as a privilege, which includes a responsibility to respect and value the rights of others to provide for a truly liberal democracy. I will refer to the landmark judicial decision in the Canadian Supreme Court case of R. v. Keegstra to argue that the rights of individuals and groups to be afforded the right to respect and dignity outweigh any claim to freedom of expression.
R v. Keegstra: s. 2 (b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms versus s. 319 (2) of the Criminal Code
The case, R. v. Keegstra, constructs a framework concerning whether the freedom of expression should be upheld in a democratic society, even wh...

... middle of paper ...

...rationale for limiting the ability to express such hate is made clear. Society owes protection to individual within a nation that undermines an individual’s human dignity. Parliament upheld its democratic duty in charging and convicting James Keegstra for his willful promoted and hatred and clear lack of any more conscience.

Works Cited

Emerson, Thomas I. “ Toward a General Theory of the First Amendment.” Yale Law
School Legal Scholarship Repository 72.5 (1963): 877-956. Web.

Feinberg, J. “ The Nature and Value of Rights.” Journal of Value Inquiry 4(1970): 243
260. Web.

Raz, Joseph. “Rights and Individual Well-Bring.” An International Journal of
Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law 5.2 (1992): 127-142. Web.

“R. v. Keegstra.” Canadian Cases in the Philosophy of Law. 4th Ed. J.E. Bickenback.
Toronto, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2007. 80-88. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Freedom of Expression in Canada

-      The right to freedom of expression can be described as a war. It is a war that has lasted for centuries and may last for centuries more. It is a war between freedom of expression and social intolerance. In this war there are many battles. The battle on which this brief essay centers itself is the battle between freedom of speech and laws limiting that freedom; more specifically the ability to spread hate propaganda and the "hate laws". Included in the essay is a brief outline of one skirmish that has taken place (Keegstra)....   [tags: Freedom of Speech]

Free Essays
1923 words (5.5 pages)

Freedom Of Speech And Expression

- Freedom of Speech and Expression Although we are guaranteed freedom of speech in our fundamental freedoms under section two of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and freedom of expression under section two (b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Anti Terrorism Act infringes this right. Much of “political activity, including expression and activism that challenges government policy is and always has been a target of high policing in Canada.” (Larsen, M., 2015) Perhaps the government feels threatened by new ideas and does not want to be challenged....   [tags: Freedom of speech, Censorship, Freedom of thought]

Term Papers
879 words (2.5 pages)

Freedom of Religious Expression in the American Military Essay

- Freedom of religion is one of the most fundamental rights that Americans possess. Freedom religion is not only mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but it is included in the very first of these rights. The founding fathers recognized this as very important to the American people because many colonists had come to the New World to escape religious persecution in Europe. In America, the attitude is moving more from an attitude of acceptance to one of mere tolerance and even disdain in some cases. The public and some leaders are denying many their constitutionally guaranteed right to free exercise of religion....   [tags: freedom religion, american military]

Term Papers
1678 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Freedom Of Expression Is The Most Important Human Right

- Freedom of expression is one the most important Human Right an individual can have, it also shapes a free, democratic society. One of the most valuable instrument to disseminate the freedom of expression is the press. However, journalists usually are targets of radicals, opposing the amount of information spread by the press, because of their daring to publish all opinions to the society. First of all, the Charlie Hebdo affair must be presented. Charlie Hebdo is a popular french satirical magazine, which encountered two terrorist attacks: one in 2011 and one in 2015....   [tags: Human rights]

Term Papers
1477 words (4.2 pages)

Arguments Against Freedom Of Expression Essay

- In considering freedom of expression and where to limit it, a careful balance needs to be struck. Too forceful limits on expression can lead to autocratic governments that jail dissident citizens and force its citizens to hide away original thoughts. Yet, laws that give a hall pass to all speech that does not present imminent danger merely allows hate groups to flourish and sow their ideals. True democracy ensures each person is allowed an equal say, regardless of any physical, mental, or personal trait....   [tags: Democracy, Freedom of speech, Hate speech]

Term Papers
1053 words (3 pages)

Freedom of Expression on the Internet Essay

- I.Introduction This paper addresses whether we should censor or block access to websites with controversial material. It looks at the issue from several sides: The relevant US laws that are in place, how censorship is used at the university and corporate levels, how other countries are attempting censorship, and finally what I feel about the topic. Given all that I have read in preparing this paper, I have come to the conclusion that without a set of globally-accepted rules, we should not be censoring the Internet except where these rules are being broken....   [tags: Freedom of Speech]

Term Papers
3924 words (11.2 pages)

Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Expression: Tinker V. Des Moines Essay

- What if you were suspended from school because of something you were wearing. Not only was the clothing or item appropriate, it was something you were fighting for or something you believe is right. Is this fair or okay for this to happen. There is a specific incident that this situation happened to a few teenagers in Des Moines, Iowa in December of 1965. A group of students wanting to wear black armbands throughout the holiday season was in for a wake up call. (FORTAS) These plans and or idea were quickly shot down by the high school principals....   [tags: freedom, first amendment, rights]

Term Papers
1390 words (4 pages)

Freedom of Expression Essay

- That there are rights to which people are entitled by virtue of their humanity is not a novel idea. The statement in italic above surely has been presented throughout history as an archetype of this concept, specifically noting freedom of expression as a right to which all hold possession. The assertion of this right is well represented in the Unites States Bill of Rights. Within that document the First Amendment specifically restricts governmental powers prohibiting any such law or act from abbreviating our freedom of speech ....   [tags: U.S. Bill of Rights, Amendments]

Term Papers
1935 words (5.5 pages)

Freedom Of Expression Essays

- COSHE.COM : uncategorized : freedom of expression on the internet freedom of expression on the internet First and foremost, in the United States the freedom of expression is guaranteed in the first Article of Amendment to the American Constitution. It states, "Con Click Here to Search COSHE's Database Again freedom of expression on the internet First and foremost, in the United States the freedom of expression is guaranteed in the first Article of Amendment to the American Constitution....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
557 words (1.6 pages)

Freedom Of Expression Essays

- Freedom of Expression: All people in the United States are guaranteed this right by the Constitution. Students, however, do not have this right to the same extent as adults. This is because public schools are required to protect all students at the school. The major aspects of this right are speech and dress. Both the right to speech and dress are not absolute in public high schools. According to the American Civil Liberties Union: "You (students) have a right to express your opinions as long as you do so in a way that doesn't 'materially and substantially' dirsupt classes or other school activities....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Term Papers
755 words (2.2 pages)