“an example of the wrong way to protect free speech”

Blogging senior lecturer in law at Trinity College Dublin, Eoin O’Dell, follows up on his Irish Times article today with a link-tastic post at Cearta.ie arguing that Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern’s “promised referendum to remove the reference to blasphemy from the Constitution should go further, and entirely revamp the very limited guarantee of freedom of expression”.

Deleting one objectionable word, rather than thoroughly revising the whole gruesome clause, would be equivalent to repairing a single broken slate on the roof of a house which needs complete refurbishment. … The freedom of expression guarantee in the Irish Constitution is an example of the wrong way to protect free speech. The forthcoming referendum should replace it with something far better suited to the needs of a modern constitutional democracy.

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