“Recalibrating the Freedom of Expression in view of Hate Speech and the Do No Harm Principle: Practical Observations In Fragmented Times” with Professor Joshua Castellino

The Freedom of Expression is a vaunted value at the very foundation of the edifice of human rights. Its utility is considered sacrosanct in emphasizing free, fair and democratic societies. Systemic failures in addressing unequal access to information, methodologies to verify information, and the extent to which the public square has been used to galvanise hate against specific communities for political gain has fragmented our societies. This lecture poses questions of the extent to which the value of the free speech can be maintained while ensuring a Do No Harm Principle that protect the rights and inherent dignity of all. It will draw on practical examples of stigmatization during the pandemic and show how free speech arguments have been used to influence key political debates to the overall detriment of human rights. It will end in articulating steps to better calibrate the freedom of expression with minority rights.

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Professor Joshua Castellino is the Executive Director, Minority Rights Group International & Professor of Law, Middlesex University, London.

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