Ronald Dworkin is well known for his defence of a strong right to free speech, which for him flows from his second principle of human dignity, the principle of personal responsibility. This principle prohibits moralism and paternalism and thus prevents the government from restricting a person’s speech on the grounds of the wrongness of the message or its offensiveness. While I believe that this is correct, contemporary restrictions on speech are often based on (at least superficially) different reasons, such as the protection of the dignity or equal standing of the victims of hate speech. My argument will be that if we want to defend Dworkin’s strong speech right, we need to make an additional, controversial assumption related to the idea of the separateness of persons.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!