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Human Rights Theory And “Freedom Culture”

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Chapter Summary

One can extrapolate on current sociolegal status of freedom to adduce possible future patterns of violation and protection of free speech in a nation. One can also try to formulate intersubjectively and transculturally persuasive theory regarding freedom of expression as a human right to guide normative judgments in concrete cases. General principles and cross-cultural perspectives can help one determine accurately and fairly in a world of thousands of diverse cultures whether a given restraint upon expression, in public or private sector, is essentially compatible with human rights principles. Freedom of expression is a human right; so such freedom should be theoretically analyzed as an integral part of comprehensive human rights theory, not only as a discrete area of positive constitutional law or sociopolitical theory. This chapter attempts such theory about human rights and free speech, bearing in mind Eastern Asian context, and then focuses on Japan to illustrate themes developed.

Keywords: constitutional law; cross-cultural perspectives; Eastern Asian context; free speech; freedom of expression; human rights theory; Japan; sociopolitical theory



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