Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 11 December 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Since many acts may be harmful, and since society has many other means for controlling or responding to conduct, criminal law should be used only when the harm caused or threatened is serious, and when the other, less coercive or less intrusive means do not work or are inappropriate. This chapter uses Canadian free speech law and jurisprudence as a reference point, since the Canadian courts have been particularly obliging in raising and responding to the principal philosophical issues concerning the criminal regulation of expression. It concludes that the case for criminal regulation is weakest where the harms in question are widespread and diffuse and the causal link with speech remote and speculative. The case is stronger, however, for legislation such as the hate incitement law that is more narrowly aimed at speech which constitutes instigation to an unlawful act, especially to a hate crime.

Keywords: hate speech, obscenity, criminal law, free speech law, hate crime

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.