Positive free speech and public access to courts

Townend, Judith (2017) Positive free speech and public access to courts. In: Kenyon, Andrew and Scott, Andrew (eds.) Positive free speech: rationales, methods and implications. Hart Publishing, UK. ISBN 9781509908295 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Even the most casual observer of courts in the UK, whether through crime dramas or news reports, will likely have some awareness of the guiding principle that for justice to be done, it must be seen to be done. But if one digs beneath that popular and well - cemented phrase, understood as critical to the rule of law, it becomes clear that open justice takes many different forms and is in practice a complex principle to administer and enforce. Clearly, the UK courts have a positive obligation in law to provide information about their activities, but to what extent? Just how much, and by what method and why, are questions that are contested and open for interpretation.

This chapter uses the positive free speech framework and normative arguments forwarded in this collection to address these questions and to suggest how the judiciary and courts service should be publicly communicating what happens in court. Accepting the premise that there are positive duties on the state that ‘insist[s] that everyone be able to exercise their rights’ in order to ‘support diverse speech environments’, and that positive free speech is a ‘central element existing alongside concerns about legal limitations on speech’, it proposes a way forward for further enhancing positive free speech in a court setting.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: open justice, freedom of expression, access to information
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for Human Rights Research
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM1001 Social psychology > HM1176 Social influence. Social pressure > HM1181 Attitude > HM1206 Communication. Mass media
K Law
Depositing User: Judith Townend
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2018 08:13
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2018 08:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/74981

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