The full text of the article is available only in Russian.
This article looks at different theories of freedom of speech, specifically the way scientists and judges articulate its legal nature. The author concentrates on three main theories that have had the highest impact on the doctrine in Russia, the United States, and other countries. The first theory was articulated by John Stuart Mill, who focused on the role of free thought and speech for the process of accumulation of knowledge. It was further developed by US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Holmes. As Justice Holmes famously stated, truth has to win at the marketplace of ideas. In other words, it is people who have to decide what is true, not the government. According to the second theory, the main reason for the defense of free expression is its contribution to the effective functioning of the democratic process in the country. Researchers like Alexander Miekljohn, Cass Sunstein, and Owen Fiss insist that it is important to ensure that diverse ideas (especially political ideas) are represented in discourse. Finally, autonomy theory emphasizes the importance of free speech for the self-development and self-realization of people and for their moral independence from the state. All these theories are important for contemporary lawmakers and law-enforcers. On a general level, they help to understand why free speech is a very special and fragile civil liberty, which is not to be taken lightly. More specifically, Mill’s truth theory shows why legislators in Russia and many other countries are wrong to ban so-called “fake news” on the Internet. At the same time, autonomy theory clearly shows that “hate speech” or “extremism” laws are more than problematic. Democratic theory provides some insights into the problem of political division and offers some policies for combating it on the internet. This branch of theory insists that internet companies must see that governments ensure that diverse points of view are presented on everyone’s social media feed.
About the author:
Alexander Kulnev – Postgraduate student, Law Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
Kulnev A. (2019) Svoboda vyrazheniya mneniya: obzor osnovnykh teoriy [Freedom of epression: an overview of the main theories] Stravnitel’noe konstitutionnoe obozrenie, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 92–104. (In Russian).
Avak’yan S. A. (2014) Konstitutsionnoe pravo Rossii: uchebnoe posobie. T. 1 [Constitutional law of Russia: textbook. Vol. 1], in 2 vols., Moscow: Norma: INFRA-M. (In Russian).
Baglay M. V. (2007) Konstitutsionnoe pravo Rossiyskoy Federatsii [Constitutional law of the Russian Federation], Moscow: Norma, 2007. (In Russian).
Baker C. E. (1992) Human Liberty and Freedom of Speech, New York: Oxford University Press.
Baker C. E. (2004) Autonomy and Informational Privacy, or Gossip: The Central Meaning of the First Amendment. Social Philosophy and Policy, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 215–268.
Blasi V. (1977) The Checking Value in First Amendment theory. American Bar Foundation Research Journal, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 521–649.
Blasi V. (1985) The Pathological Perspective and the First Amendment. Columbia Law Review, vol. 85, no. 3, pp. 449–514.
Bollinger L. C. (1988) The Tolerant Society, New York: Oxford University Press.
Dworkin R. (1999) Freedom’s Law: The Moral Reading of the American Constitution, Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
Dworkin R. (2004) O pravakh vser’yoz [Taking Rights Seriously], Moscow: ROSSPEN. (In Russian).
Emerson T. I. (1962) Toward a General Theory of the First Amendment. Yale Law journal, vol. 72, no. 5, pp. 877–956.
Fallon R. H. (1994) Two Senses of Autonomy. Stanford Law Review, vol. 46, no. 4, pp. 875–905.
Fedotov M. A. (2007) Zakon SSSR o pechati kak yuridicheskoe chudo [USSR law on the press as a legal miracle]. Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, no. 1, pp. 463–502. (In Russian).
Fiss O. (1996) The Irony of Free Speech, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Gorbachev M. S. (1995) Zhizn’ i reformy. Kn. 1 [Life and reforms. Book 1], Moscow: Novosti. (In Russian).
Hayek F. A. (2011) Individualizm i ekonomicheskiy poryadok [Individualism and economic order], Moscow: Sotsium. (In Russian).
Kun T. (2009) Struktura nauchnykh revolyutsiy [The structure of scientific revolutions], Moscow: AST. (In Russian).
Locke J. (1988) Sochineniya. Vol. 3 [Writings: In three books], in 3 vols., Moscow: Mysl’. (In Russian).
Lukasheva E. (2011) Prava cheloveka [Human rights], Moscow: Norma. (In Russian).
Meiklejohn A. (1948) Free Speech and Its Relation to Self-Government, New-York: Harper and Brothers Publishers.
Milton J. (1918) Areopagitica. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Polani M. (1985) Lichnostnoe znanie: na puti k postkriticheskoy filosofii [Personal knowledge: on the way to postcritical philosophy], Moscow. (In Russian).
Posner R. A. (1986) Free Speech in an Economic Perspective. Suffolk University Law Review, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 1–54.
Redish M. H. (1982) The Value of Free Speech. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, vol. 130, no. 3, pp. 591–645.
Scanlon T. (1972) A Theory of Freedom of Expression. Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 204–226.
Scanlon T. M., Jr (1978) Freedom of Expression and Categories of Expression. University of Pittsburgh Law Review, vol. 40, pp. 519–550.
Schauer F. (1982) Free Speech: A Philosophical Enquiry, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schauer F. (1991) Reflections on the Value of Truth. Case Western Reserve Law Review, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 699–724.
Stone G. R. (2011) Ronald Coase’s First Amendment. The Journal of Law and Economics, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 367–382.
Strauss D. A. (1991) Persuasion, Autonomy, and Freedom of Expression. Columbia Law Review, vol. 91, no. 2, pp. 334–371.
Sunstein C. R. (1995) Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech, New York: Free Press.
Vishnyakov N. P. (1906) Pyat’ svobod: svoboda lichnosti, svoboda sovesti, svoboda slova, svoboda soyuzov, svoboda sobraniy [Five freedoms: personal freedom, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of assembly], Saint-Petersburg: Tipografiya basmannaya. (In Russian).
Voevodin L. D. (1997) Yuridicheskiy status lichnosti v Rossii [Judicial status of a person in Russia], Moscow: Izdatel’stvo MGU; INFRA-M: Norma. (In Russian).
Moscow, Shchepkina str., 8
+7 (495) 608-69-59
+7 (495) 608-66-35