The Limits of Free Speech: Democratic Legitimacy in Canada and New Zealand
This paper explores the balancing act between freedom of expression and hate speech. It takes its cue from a recent dialogue between Ronald Dworkin and Jeremy Waldron concerning democratic legitimacy. This dialogue forms the conceptual starting point for the paper, and a detailed analysis of democratic principles will follow. Robert Post’s participatory theory of democracy is critiqued, and his recent conversion to democratic relativism is analysed. The operation of hate speech laws in Canada and New Zealand will both be assessed in order to see how both of these countries treat the issue of democratic legitimacy.