Professor Eric Heinze, Professor of Law and Humanities, Queen Mary University London, gives the Max Watson Memorial Lecture.
In this Max Watson Memorial Lecture, Professor Eric Heinze from Queen Mary University London will argue that modern democracies have better ways of combating violence and discrimination against vulnerable groups without having to censor speakers.
Most modern democracies punish hate speech. Less freedom for some, they claim, guarantees greater freedom for others. But that view confuses democracy with liberalism, as if the two assume identical norms in principle, or entail the same results in practice. It also assumes a misleadingly ahistorical model of democracy.
This lecture will show why free expression must be safeguarded not primarily as an individual (‘liberal’) right, but as an essential attribute of democratic citizenship.