Chapter

Incitement and the Regulation of Hate Speech in Canada: A Philosophical Analysis

L. W. Sumner

in Extreme Speech and Democracy

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199548781
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720673 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548781.003.0012
 Incitement and the Regulation of Hate Speech in Canada: A Philosophical Analysis

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Every liberal democracy approaches the regulation of hate speech in its own particular way. This chapter draws on the experience and the particularities of the hate speech laws that have been in place in Canada since 1970. But it also brings to the issue a principled framework for locating the boundaries of free speech, one which derives from John Stuart Mill and has subsequently been operationalized by the Canadian Supreme Court. The discussion concludes that while the best-known piece of Canadian hate speech legislation cannot be justified under this framework, a lesser-known offence has a better chance of success. In the distinction between these offences there are important lessons to be learned for the boundaries of free speech.

Keywords: hate speech; free speech; incitement; Canada; John Stuart Mill

Chapter.  8861 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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