Freedom of Speech (JURS6019)


Freedom of speech is among the most hotly discussed constitutional rights in a liberal democratic state. This unit of study will aimed at clarifying some of the fundamental conceptual and normative foundations of both freedoms, always against the background of specific legal rules, cases and controversies in Australia and around the world. The part concerning freedom of speech will consider such issues as the fundamental justifications (rationales) for freedom of speech, the idea of 'content neutrality' and 'viewpoint neutrality' of speech restrictions, the distinction between speech and conduct, etc. It will also look, more specifically, at such controversial issues as restrictions on racial vilification, obscenity and defaming speech. The last part of the unit of study will focus on relationship between freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

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Further unit of study information


1x2-hr lecture/week


Class participation (20%), class presentation (20%) and 4500wd essay (50%). Depending on the number of students enrolled, there may be an option of 2 x oral presentations (2x20%) and 3000wd essay (40%)

Faculty/department permission required?


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If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

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Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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