Chapter

The Free Flow of Commercial Information

Roger A. Shiner

in Freedom of Commercial Expression

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780198262619
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682353 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262619.003.0024
The Free Flow of Commercial Information

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By far, the most frequent argument given by courts and commentators for the constitutional protection of freedom of expression embodies a reference to the ‘free flow of commercial information’. The general form of the argument is clear: government regulation of commercial expression constitutes an interruption of the free flow of commercial information; the free flow of commercial information is good not only for the individual but also for society; interruption of the free flow of commercial information is therefore bad; and ceteris paribus, therefore, government regulation of commercial expression should be abolished. This chapter examines the free flow of commercial information, decision-making under uncertainty, failures of reasoning, utility rights, separation of powers with respect to commercial expression, the metaphor of the marketplace of ideas, and constitutional adjudication.

Keywords: constitutional protection; freedom of expression; commercial information; uncertainty; failures of reasoning; utility rights; separation of powers; marketplace; constitutional adjudication

Chapter.  19560 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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