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UK Justice Secretary proposes new free speech law

The proposals are contradictory in spirit to other proposed censorship legislation such as the Online Safety Bill.

The UK’s Justice Secretary Dominic Raab is set to introduce a bill that will protect free speech against cancel culture, political correctness, “wokery” and some European-style privacy laws.

In recent times, the courts have been accused of prioritizing privacy over freedom of expression.

Raab described freedom of expression as a “quintessentially British” human right that should be given “extra weight.” He feels that it is being overshadowed by privacy concerns and the rise in wokery and cancel culture.

“However unedifying someone’s views, they have a right to articulate them within the bounds of decency and other laws,” an unnamed source told The Telegraph.

“It is making sure we don’t go down the route of cancel culture, where people feel they cannot speak freely because of fear of recriminations.

“Dominic feels very strongly that the parameters of free speech and democratic debate are being whittled away, whether it’s a privacy issue or wokery and political correctness.”

Raab’s proposal will reinforce Parliament’s focus on protecting free speech over privacy rights being sneaked in through court cases, the latest example being the Duchess of Sussex winning a privacy lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday.

According to The Telegraph, the government is also looking at the lessons it can learn from countries that prioritize free speech, such as the US and South Africa.

In a statement to The Telegraph, Attorney General Suella Braverman asserted that the proposed bill would “strengthen” the freedom of expression and “preserve space for wide and vigorous democratic debate”.

She added: “We propose that the Bill should make clear the utmost importance attached to this right, and that in balancing competing rights the courts should only interfere with it where there are exceptional reasons to do so.”

Meanwhile, the same government is busy proposing some of the most speech restrictive legislation in the Western world, the Online Safety Bill.

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