The Right to Freedom of Speech or Not? – Freedom of Speech Debated Across Four Continents Among Law Professionals


Participants of the Right to Freedom of Speech Webinar by Mazeltov – Innovation and Justice

Mazeltov – For Your Tomorrow

The Right to Freedom of Speech or Not?

Participants discussed the constant tension between the state, society, & the individual in defining parameters & perimeter of freedom of speech and expression

To exercise the Freedom of Speech responsibly individuals need to have access to accurate information from the State to make an informed opinion and statement.”

— Barrister at Law, Rufruf Chaudhary, Founder Mazeltov

KARACHI, SINDH, PAKISTAN, April 29, 2021 / — Freedom of Speech is a constitutional right that is fettered when deemed necessary. A discussion was held on the philosophy of Freedom of Speech and how young law professionals and academics from the United Kingdom, Seychelles, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Pakistan see the exercise of this Freedom in various jurisdictions. The discussion was hosted by Mazeltov, is the world’s first youth led think-tank on innovation and justice. The participants were connected through an online discussion platform enabled by Mazeltov. Law students and legal fraternity enthusiasts participated in the interactive discussion.

Dara Eisen, a PhD Scholar at Durham University and a researcher in international human rights law and culture participated as a panelist. He also teaches undergraduate classes in public law and United Nations’ security law at Liverpool John Moores University. Eisen argued, based on Mills’ harm principle that the State can justifiably fetter the freedom of speech where the level of harm experienced from offensive hateful expression is objectively extreme.

Ahmed Shafquat Hassan, led the discussion from the perspective of a legal academic delving into the discourse surrounding the foundations of Free Speech philosophy. Ahmed Shafquat, a non-practicing Barrister at Law and a research associate at the Centre for Peace and Justice, BRAC University, emphasised on the need for a more equitable lens to view Freedom restrictions. He suggested that if human beings structure themselves in societies that are inevitably unequal, it is imperative that we strive to create equitable structures to counteract the potential harms of dominant narratives that seek to further divide societies and polities.

The panelist also included Barrister at Law, Gobind Pannu, who is an accredited mediator and currently working as a paralegal at Bachan & Kartar, a boutique law firm in Malaysia. He started off by showcasing the inability for the freedom of speech to exist on either extreme end of the spectrum. He further said, “If freedom of speech is to be deemed as an unfettered right without any consequences for what was said, it would lead to turmoil in any country that it is implemented it whereas on the other end of the spectrum, if speech was to be monitored and judged in an Orwellian scenario, it would also ultimately be ineffective in its cause.”

An accredited mediator with ADR ODR International, Angelique Juliette, currently setting up her mediation practice and legal consultancy in Seychelles. Juliette highlighted that free speech across the continent of Africa is a vital right for its people; this is evidence through the African Charter on Human Rights as well as the continued efforts of its individual countries in ensuring this right is integrated in its democratic and juridical setting.

Lastly, the Founder of Mazeltov, Barrister and Lecturer of Law, Rufruf Chaudhary linked the Freedom of Speech to the Freedom to Access Information. She highlighted that to exercise the Freedom of Speech responsibly individuals need to have access to accurate information from the State to make an informed opinion and statement. Chaudhary also emphasized that legislations need to be redrafted to provide public with a better sense of when their right of Freedom of Speech can be constrained.

Participants from all over the world attended the informative discussion. Justice Refat Ahmed, Supreme Court of Bangladesh (High Court Division) said that “The discussants highlight the constant tension between the state, society and the individual in defining both the parameters and perimeter of the notion of ‘freedom of speech and expression’. A first generation human right is put in the spotlight for scrutiny by a new generation of thinkers informed by contemporary and emergent trends and realities of state building. This is cause for hope that the effort to mold the ever-shifting contours of ‘Rule of Law’ is alive and that such responsibility rests in able hands. The discussion alone is testament enough, and reassuringly so, to the need for such platforms to take that exercise forward effectively.”

Puruesh Chaudhary, Founding CEO Foresight Lab, found the discussion insightful as it ranged from the impact of emerging technologies on free speech, to how would hierarchies of harm are structured and comprehended in different scenarios in different parts of the world. The panelists truly localised their understanding of the challenges deepening the existing knowledge base.

Mazeltov is devoted to developing a global knowledge repository on the human challenges and infrastructure confines. Mazeltov has a comprehensive approach for developing a sustainable harmonized legal system and solutions that can help the legal fraternity around the world. The solutions are developed by examining and debating public policy issues by the experts in respective countries. Mazeltov aims to bridge people, societies and justice by developing innovative practices, policy options and pertained procedures. The organization runs the initiative “Innovation and Justice” to create a global dialogue on novel justice processes, services, platforms, to help nations around the world achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

Rufruf Chaudhary
+92 343 6111161
email us here
Visit us on social media: