What Is Freedom Of Expression?

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This research paper is primarily based on The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and its legislation around freedom of speech and hate speech. It aims to define the term “freedom of speech and expression” in a democracy, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19. Furthermore it will explore the principles of free speech based on international law and standards and the importance of free speech. We look at the meaning and the legislation around hate speech, and explore the impact of hate speech on freedom of expression. Moreover we inquire and pose the question: “Can and should free speech be limited?” This research will include examples of the nature and forms of hate speech that exists in South Africa and …show more content…
In the song Mr. Malema makes the statement that all
Afrikaner farmers should be shot and killed. He was found guilty under the Equality Act and the case was settled outside of court (FXI, 2013). Julius and all the members of his political party were banned from singing the song in public. This became the leading hate speech case in South African. When South African real estate agent, Penny Sparrow took to social media recently in 2016, with a statement referring to black people as uneducated monkeys, an outrage sparked in the media (Evans, 2016). A charge of hate speech was made against Penny Sparrow and the South African Human Rights Commission made an investigation into the matter.
These are but two of many such cases of freedom of expression which borders onto hate speech. The impact of such derogatory statements has a negative ripple effect on society. Debates and discussions around the lack of protection by the constitution around hate speech emerged. It is the opinion of some members of society that freedom of expression is being threatened, while others believe that the law needs to reinforce a firm legislation on hate speech (Evans, 2016). The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) of 1994, who defend and fight for the right to freedom of expression, argues that such factors as intent, audience receiving the speech

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