Freedom of Expression in Democratic States: A New Theoretical Direction Project

Grant Scheme

ARC Discovery Project


2008 - 2012

Chief Investigator

Professor Adrienne Stone

Adrienne has published extensively on Australian constitutional law, with a special focus on freedom of political communication, comparative constitutional law of freedom of speech and the legal and institutional questions surrounding bills of rights.

Project Summary

Dominant theories of freedom of expression are strongly influenced by the practices of the United States Supreme Court. To date we do not have a strong theoretical foundation for the practices of courts in most other democratic countries. This project aims to develop a better foundation for an alternative to the dominant American conception of freedom of expression by:

  • Expanding comparative study of principles of freedom of expression to three key jurisdictions so far neglected by constitutional comparativists (India, Israel and South Africa); and
  • Developing theories of freedom of expression that can explain the predominant practices of courts in democratic countries and guide the future development of freedom of expression principles.

In doing so, this proposal aims to make a groundbreaking, internationally significant contribution to the constitutional law and theory of freedom of expression.