Wednesday, 24 October 2012

English legal origins of seditious libel and free speech

Note that this article from 1985 explains that treason (and licensing laws) had been used for anti-government publishing until about 1700, when seditious libel in general (i.e. non-personal attacks) was effectively invented by Lord Chief Justice Holt. The free speech campaigner who first used the expression was Daniel Defoe who wrote the novel 'Robinson Crusoe'.

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