and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(1949)--Article 19 states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"
Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or sanction. The term "freedom of expression" is sometimes used synonymously but includes any act of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
Freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the UDHR states that "everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice". The version of Article 19 in the ICCPR later amends this by stating that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals".
United States v. Alvarez
, 567 U.S.
___ (2012), was a United States Supreme Court
case in which the Court struck down the Stolen Valor Act
, a federal law that criminalized false statements about having a military medal. The law had been passed as an effort to stem instances where people falsely claimed to have won the medal in an attempt to protect the "valor" of those who really had. While a 6-3 majority of the Supreme Court agreed that the law was unconstitutional under the First Amendment
's free speech protections, it could not agree on a single rationale. Four justices concluded that a statement's falsity is not enough, by itself, to exclude speech from First Amendment protection. Another two justices concluded that while false statements were entitled to some protection, the Stolen Valor Act was invalid because it could have achieved its objectives in less restrictive ways. Reaction from the political community and from veteran organizations were negative. Several months after the decision, both chambers of Congress passed new versions of the Stolen Valor Act based on the suggestions in the Court's opinion. Despite the Supreme Court having struck down the conviction under the Act, Alvarez remained in prison for fraud on other matters.
Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1949)--Article 19 states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"
George Orwell statue at the headquarters of the BBC. A defence of free speech in an open society, the wall behind the statue is inscribed with the words "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear", words from George Orwell's proposed preface to Animal Farm (1945).
In this month
David Herbert Richards Lawrence
(11 September 1885 - 2 March 1930) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence
. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, and instinct. Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile he called his "savage pilgrimage." At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. E. M. Forster
, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as, "The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation." Later, the influential Cambridge
critic F. R. Leavis
championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence's fiction within the canonical
"great tradition" of the English novel. Lawrence is now valued by many as a visionary thinker and significant representative of modernism in English literature.
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