2.1 The Birth Of Free Speech . It Is Difficult To Pinpoint

Good Essays


It is difficult to pinpoint the exact time or year in which the concept of free speech emerged. It has been argued over and debated since the time of ancient Greeks, freedom of speech has always been an indispensable condition of what it means to be a free person. The first known martyr to the principle of free speech was Socrates. In 399BC before his jury to city state of Athens he was tried for corruption the morals of Greek youth and he said that he would rather be convicted than suffer restrictions on his free speech. Free speech became more developed during the Enlightenment period by scholars such as John Locke, Baruch Spinoza, Pierre Bayle and others. Locke claimed that “we are born free as we are …show more content…

When the United Nations General Assembly met the very first time in January 1946, one resolution that it passed recognized freedom of information as a fundamental human right and the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated. The first formal request for freedom of speech in recorded history made by sir Thomas More in front of the English Parliament. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 provides in Article 19 that everyone has the right to opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Freedom of speech is granted unambiguous protection in international law by a number of United Nations treaties. Such as International covenant in Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on the Rights of the child and International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant workers and members of their Families. As free speech has part of customary international law, and customary law is constantly growing as more norms achieve international consensus, while common law shrinks with the enactment of each new statute. The attractiveness of an argument based on customary international law is that a customary norm binds all governments, including those that have

Get Access