Free Speech, Terrorism, and European Security

Hannah Arendt, via WikipediaFor those interested in my earlier posts on free speech and national security and terrorism and speech, a new paper on SSRN: Free Speech, Terrorism, and European Security: Defining and Defending the Political Community by Shawn Marie Boyne (Indiana University School of Law | personal site) addresses the issues, building upon her earlier paper “The Criminalization of Speech in an Age of Terror ” (SSRN). The abstract of the new paper provides:

In this paper I examine the impact that the struggle against terror has had on free speech protections in three European states [more precisely: the ECHR, the EU, and at member state level]. Specifically, I argue that prosecutors have overbroadly interpreted and expanded the definition of laws designed to target individuals who provide material support to terrorists. As a result, some prosecutions undertaken by European states threaten to undermine the core democratic value of free speech. By analyzing specific cases, I explore how some liberal democratic states have chosen to navigate the tension between security and liberty that Hannah Arendt [pictured, above left] referred to as the “crisis of authority.” Although I discuss each state’s relevant legislation, my primary focus is to draw distinctions and comparisons between the three countries based on recent cases that attempt to criminalize speech. This approach will allow me to assess the pulse of free speech in several democratic states that face significant terrorism threats.

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