Media appearances

Belief, Opinion, and Free Speech – On the Brink of an Age of Restrained Expression

Summary of Anna Loufti's talk on 'Belief, Opinion & Freedom of Speech'

The West is heading to a new, antidemocratic age – warned Anna Loutfi in her speech at the Danube Institute on 13th February 2023. According to the expert, real freedom of speech and thought took a backseat in Great Britain, and the situation is dire on a continental level as well. The main cause of this is that the common law, based on national constitutional traditions, was pushed out of practice. The judiciary now works based on laws written following the international human rights regime. Thus, the freedom of speech has become more limited, than it was before, when the common law held the unwritten presumption of freedom of thought and speech.

The courts, following the new laws based on international trends, are holding opinions to tests and thresholds of seriousness those make no sense. These new guidelines could lead to irrational decisions. For example, while one case held that “belief in democratic socialism” is an honest and defendable standpoint, another stated that an opinion rejecting transgenderism based on Christian religious beliefs is not worthy of protection. The decision of Welsh courts ruled against parents, who sought to withdraw their children from liberal sexual education in an elementary school, also created outrage in the United Kingdom.

In her presentation, Anna Loutfi expressed her concern about the creeping legal authoritarianism in the United Kingdom, backing her case up with heaps of evidence describing the relevant common law and judicial practice. She emphasized that the West is in danger of overrunning by political forces bent on the destruction of traditional notions of free speech with new and weakly supported legal arguments, to impose their own authoritarian agenda.