Freedom of speech is often seen as a cornerstone of democracy, but the unfettered right to express opinions can infringe other fundamental rights. Minority groups are especially at risk of verbal attacks and intimidation, and some countries, including Australia, have legislated protections that limit free speech.
When Attorney-General George Brandis ordered a review of the Racial Discrimination Act and introduced amendments in a failed attempt to remove some of these protections in March this year, he ignited a passionate debate on the importance of free speech and its intersection with other human rights.
In this podcast, Tamson Pietsch speaks with Sarah Sorial about the role of free speech in a democracy and how it can co-exist with other rights.
Sarah Sorial is a senior lecturer at the University of Wollongong who is researching the limits of free speech and deliberative democracy.
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Image: flickr/CeBIT Australia
Music: Free Music Archive/Podington Bear