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Free Speech and the dbates on Gender

Free Speech and the dbates on Gender

Old Feb 14th 2020, 5:29 pm
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Default Free Speech and the dbates on Gender

Well done Mr Justice Julian Knowles who began his English High Court ruling released today supporting Article 10 Freedom of Expression rights of a Tweeter unjustly investigated by the police in this way:

1. In his unpublished introduction to Animal Farm (1945) George Orwell wrote:

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

But that’s not the end of his references to George Orwell’s novels and writing throughout the judgment.

The successful litigant Mr Miller described his response when police officers began to explain what they were doing:

'PC Gul said ‘I need to check your thinking’.

I replied: ‘So, let me get this straight, I’ve committed no crime. You’re a police officer. And you need to check my thinking ?’

PC Gul answered: ‘Yes’.

I said, ‘Have you any idea what that makes you ? ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ is a dystopian novel, not a police training manual.’”

Justice Julian Knowles: ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ is, of course, the 1949 novel by George Orwell which coined the term ‘thoughtcrime’ to describe a person's politically unorthodox or unacceptable thoughts. The Thought Police are the secret police of the superstate Oceania, who discover and punish thoughtcrime.'

And further at page 60 of the ruling paragraph 269, there are these remarkable jurisprudential assertions based on George Orwell’s libertarian defence of freedom of expression:

'259. Mr Auburn and Mr Ustych both sought to play down the police’s actions. They said that there had been no interference with the Claimant’s free expression rights or, if there had, it was at a trivial level. In my judgment these submissions impermissibly minimise what occurred and do not properly reflect the value of free speech in a democracy. There was not a shred of evidence that the Claimant was at risk of committing a criminal offence. The effect of the police turning up at his place of work because of his political opinions must not be underestimated. To do so would be to undervalue a cardinal democratic freedom. In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society.'

Richard Blair- you can be so proud of your father inspiring the power and strength of this judicial assertion of freedom of speech and liberty of the individual.

It makes me proud to be an Orwellian scholar!

You can add the judgement to your Orwell digital library by downloading from

BAILII.ORG
www.bailii.org
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