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Free speech theory

Hate speech: a question

Monday, July 5th, 2021

A question occurs to me that seems worth throwing into the debate. An ambiguity I think there’s an ambiguity in the proposed law. We don’t know the exact wording of the offence. It seems the government doesn’t have one. It’s not in the Cabinet paper or the discussion paper anyway. That makes it hard to […]

When free speech creates disorder or hate

Monday, June 28th, 2021

“De-platforming”. It’s the free-speech zealot’s issue-du-jour. I’m looking at you, Damien Grant. It seems so exactly what cancel culture is. Don’t like the speech? Ban it. Except it’s not really a ban, is it? There is nothing to stop those poor begagged individuals from putting out press releases and YouTube videos, railing on social media, […]

Bare reasoning

Friday, March 12th, 2010

In Lowe v New Zealand Police, Clifford J rightly overturns Nick Lowe’s conviction for offensive behaviour for cycling in the nude. It was on World Nude Bike Day, but Mr Lowe, “a committed cyclist and naturist”, doesn’t need that incentive to bike about naked. For example, he competes in the Coast to Coast without clothes […]

Free speech by the numbers

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

In case you were wondering what the First Amendment was all about, US Court of Appeals judge and law and economics whizz Richard Posner has the answer: Ax – Bx = -(pH / (1 + d)n + O)x where the xs are subscripts denoting derivatives and relate to potential strictness of regulation; the n is […]

UK political broadcast ad ban upheld

Monday, March 31st, 2008

In NZ, we ban the broadcast of election ads, except for those paid for out of the broadcasting allocation. That means a pot of about $3 million of public money gets divvied up between the parties (along with a bit of free air time that some publicly minded stations throw in) – and that’s the […]