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17:30 to 18:30
End date
29 October 2015
Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College, Linton Rd, Oxford OX2 6UD

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Thursday, 29 October 2015 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm


Hate Speech and Democratic Citizenship

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.
A drinks reception will be held after the lecture.
Professor Eric Heinze is Professor of Law and Humanities at Queen Mary University London. He has worked with the International Commission of Jurists and UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, and on private litigation before the United Nations Administrative Tribunal in New York. He is a member of the Bars of New York and Massachusetts, and has also advised NGOs on human rights, including Liberty, Amnesty International and the Media Diversity Institute.
This is the inaugural Max Watson Memorial Lecture, an Annual Lecture series that commemorates the life and work of former FLJS Board Member, Wolfson Fellow, and Senior Official at the IMF and EU, Max Watson.