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Essential truths Updated banner 2016

Thu 23 Nov

Essential Truths - Free speech or hate speech?

  • Venue Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, 65 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1HT Click here for a map
  • Time 7pm – 8:15pm

Free speech or hate speech: what is the difference and does it matter?


Words can frequently be offensive and sometimes even incite violence – surely this means that some speech is so hateful it should banned? But then how does this square with the precious human right of freedom of expression?

The UK has a long and valued tradition of free speech. But in recent decades, concerns about the potential of hateful language to inflame prejudice and violence have led to an increasing number of laws restricting speech which, for instance, incites racial or religious hatred.

As Christians we will never want to hear or read words which demean or insult fellow citizens, for whatever reason. Yet we are also aware that people will have different interpretations of what is 'hateful' and that for many the gospel itself is an 'offensive' message (Galatians 5:11). How then do we walk this tricky legal tightrope?

In this interactive seminar Alasdair Henderson (a human rights barrister) will navigate the legal landscape for us and offer suggestions on where the lines should be drawn.

The event is free but it would be very helpful if you could confirm attendance to give us an idea of numbers for catering purposes.