Ronald Dworkin Two Concepts Of Liberty Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… Dworkin contends that few if any situations require and warrant a limitation on the “marketplace of ideas”, a fact which separates the Red, White and Blue from most other democracies.[11] Dworkin draws on the ideas of Isaiah Berlin and argues that limiting one’s free speech is a direct infringement on negative liberties that can derail society and principles under which it stands. Berlin theorized on the powerful impact of ideas on social life and believed in their free distribution in order to promote a healthy society.[12] Dworkin uses the issue of obscene pornographic material as a forum to present his conception of the way a free and democratic society ought to encourage free …show more content…
In this case, the appellant, Donald Victor Butler, was arrested after selling “hard core” video-tapes and magazines as well as sexual paraphernalia contrary to sections 163 of the Criminal Code of Canada. In all, there were 250 indictments filed against the appellant, 173 of which were directly against the appellant, the remaining 77 of which were charged through a joint indictment with Norma McCord, his partner.[22] Of the 250 charges, Butler was convicted on a mere 8, leading to appeals by both the prosecution and the defense. In order to understand whether Butler had convicted more offenses or possibly none at all, the court needed to consider the constitutional validity of section 163 of the criminal code.[23] If section 163 was in breach of an individual’s right to freedom of expression as prescribed in sec 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Butler’s rights were being infringed. In Brodie v. The Queen, the court established two relevant and applicable principles, the “Community Standard of Tolerance” and the “degradation or dehumanization test” in order to determine what material was an “undue exploitation of sex”. The Community Standards test requires that the adjudicator(s) consider the standards of the “community as a whole”,[24] that is to say, the entire society or nation …show more content…
The Court ultimately determined that section 163 of the Criminal Code achieved a pressing and substantial objective in a reasonable manner and that the charges filed against Butler were constitutional. The Supreme Court ordered that the case be retried in light of the majority’s recognition and establishment of a new legal framework for this and similar cases.

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