Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Freedom Of Expression And Freedom Of Movement In The Immigration Space: Substance Over Forum

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posted on 2021-11-15, 08:07 authored by Cross, Nicholas

Globalisation and the availability of information through television and the internet have been a boon for the spread of ideas and for freedom of expression. These trends have also created challenges for the regulation of expression. Those with hateful views or harmful information have just as much access to modern communication tools as the rest of us. How policy makers respond to the free flow of information raises a multitude of questions.  However there is no doubt that the state still holds the upper hand in controlling the freedom of movement between borders. Despite the availability of information technology there is still a need for interpersonal communication to facilitate the freedom of expression. The freedom of movement is therefore important to enabling the freedom of expression, and states can restrict the later by restricting the former.  The aim of this paper is to comprehensively scrutinise the different approaches taken to regulating freedom of movement for the purpose of regulating freedom of expression. It looks with judicial reviews within common law jurisdictions and how the issue is managed within their existing human rights legal frameworks.  Firstly the paper will lay out a preferred approach to dealing with the regulation of freedom of expression in an immigration context, bearing in mind the rights which states have to control their borders and the justifications for doing so. The approach places strong emphasis on protecting the freedom of expression for all groups without seeking to challenge the existence or legitimacy of the ways states choose to regulate expression within their borders. It suggests that regulation should be limited to situations where it is likely that the visitor would choose to break the laws of the state they seek to visit, or where their visit could spark disruption involving violence which could not reasonably be controlled by law enforcement.  Secondly the paper will examine four cases from two common law jurisdictions in detail. There is an emphasis on understanding two themes. The first is explaining the broader context of human rights protection within those jurisdictions and how their approach to immigration control reflects or contradicts that protection. The second is upon critiquing and understanding the administrative law implications of the standards of review applied. Reference is made back to the preferred framework to help understand to what extent the cases stand for genuine protection of freedom of expression.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Name

LL.B. (Honours)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law


Hastings, William