On Tuesday the Sixth Form Enrichment Lectures continued with a talk from Miss Halifax on the issues around freedom of expression in the United Kingdom.
This fundamental right was put within its legal framework and shown in action through precedents and case studies. Whilst there are many similarities, the protection of ‘freedom of speech’ is stronger in American law as it is enshrined as a primary right in their Constitution. Miss Halifax, who worked in Criminal Law before joining Godolphin and Latymer, went through how freedom of speech could be impacted by ideas of cancel culture and trial by media. Although the Convention on Human Rights has been in action for nearly 70 years, it is clear that some recent cases, and proposed legislation, could impact our ability to express ourselves – particularly in the areas of Article 9, rights on thought and belief, and within the value of proportionality.
Miss Halifax’s hope was that students followed the advice of Voltaire in his Treatise on Tolerance: ‘Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too’.