Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Speech Laws, Regulations and Legal Requirements and Legal Disciplinary actions differ in many countries. This is something we (public forum limited : understand.

 So to this end we are going to use the UK Version of Free Speech to Govern only what is posted on by using our published Terms of Service regarding this Issue. Please read and understand them. Breaking our Terms of Service will mean your membership and account being closed and deleted unless such legal matters require us to keep full and un-edited data for legal and law enforcement purposes.


Freedom of Speech , UK

What is the law on free speech in the UK?

What is the law on free speech? Under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998, “everyone has the right to freedom of expression” in the UK. But the law states that this freedom “may be subject to formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society”.


According to Amnesty International:


What is Freedom of Speech.

Freedom of speech is the right to say whatever you like about whatever you like, whenever you like, right? Wrong.

'Freedom of speech is the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, by any means.'

Freedom of speech and the right to freedom of expression applies to ideas of all kinds including those that may be deeply offensive. But it comes with responsibilities and we believe it can be legitimately restricted.

When freedom of speech can be restricted

You might not expect us to say this, but in certain circumstances free speech and freedom of expression can be restricted.


Governments have an obligation to prohibit hate speech and incitement. And restrictions can also be justified if they protect specific public interest or the rights and reputations of others.


Any restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of expression must be set out in laws that must in turn be clear and concise so everyone can understand them.


People imposing the restrictions (whether they are governments, employers or anyone else) must be able to demonstrate the need for them, and they must be proportionate.


All of this has to be backed up by safeguards to stop the abuse of these restrictions and incorporate a proper appeals process.

...and when it can't

Restrictions that do not comply with all these conditions violate freedom of expression.


We consider people put in prison solely for exercising their right to free speech to be prisoners of conscience.


Jabbar Savalan was imprisoned after calling for protests against the government on Facebook. We considered him a prisoner of conscience and campaigned for his release.


Checks and balances


Any restriction should be as specific as possible. It would be wrong to ban an entire website because of a problem with one page.

National security and public order

These terms must be precisely defined in law to prevent them being used as excuses for excessive restrictions.



This is a very subjective area, but any restrictions must not be based on a single tradition or religion and must not discriminate against anyone living in a particular country.

Rights and reputations of others

Public officials should tolerate more criticism than private individuals. So defamation laws that stop legitimate criticism of a government or public official, violate the right to free speech.



Protecting abstract concepts, religious beliefs or other beliefs or the sensibilities of people that believe them is not grounds for restricting freedom of speech.


Media and journalists

Journalists and bloggers face particular risks because of the work they do. Countries therefore have a responsibility to protect their right to freedom of speech. Restrictions on Newspapers, TV stations, etc can affect everyone’s right to freedom of expression.



Government should never bring criminal proceedings against anyone who reveals information about human rights abuses.


Rights and responsibilities

Free speech is one of our most important rights and one of the most misunderstood.


Use your freedom of speech to speak out for those that are denied theirs. But use it responsibly: it is a powerful thing.


Freedom of Speech: USA
Information Taken from:

What Does Free Speech Mean?

Among other cherished values, the First Amendment protects freedom of speech. The U.S. Supreme Court often has struggled to determine what exactly constitutes protected speech. The following are examples of speech, both direct (words) and symbolic (actions), that the Court has decided are either entitled to First Amendment protections, or not.


The First Amendment states, in relevant part, that:


“Congress shall make no law...abridging freedom of speech.”


Freedom of speech includes the right:

Not to speak (specifically, the right not to salute the flag).

West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943).

Of students to wear black armbands to school to protest a war (“Students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.”).

Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969).

To use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages.

Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971).

To contribute money (under certain circumstances) to political campaigns.

Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).

To advertise commercial products and professional services (with some restrictions).

Virginia Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748 (1976); Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977).

To engage in symbolic speech, (e.g., burning the flag in protest).

Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989); United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990).

Freedom of speech does not include the right:

To incite imminent lawless action.

Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969).

To make or distribute obscene materials.

Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957).

To burn draft cards as an anti-war protest.

United States v. O’Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968).

To permit students to print articles in a school newspaper over the objections of the school administration.

Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988).

Of students to make an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.

Bethel School District #43 v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986).

Of students to advocate illegal drug use at a school-sponsored event.

Morse v. Frederick, __ U.S. __ (2007).

Disclaimer: These resources are created by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for use in educational activities only. They may not reflect the current state of the law, and are not intended to provide legal advice, guidance on litigation, or commentary on legislation.


DISCLAIMER: These resources are created by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for educational purposes only. They may not reflect the current state of the law, and are not intended to provide legal advice, guidance on litigation, or commentary on any pending case or legislation.

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