In this book, Richard Moon puts forward an account of freedom of expression that emphasizes its social character. Such freedom does not simply protect individual liberty from state interference; it also protects the individual's freedom to communicate with others. It is the right of the individual to communicate: an activity that is deeply social in character, and that involves socially created languages and the use of community resources, like parks, streets, and broadcast stations. Moon argues that recognition of the social dynamic of communication is critical to understanding the potential value and harm of language and to addressing questions about the scope and limits on one's rights to freedom of expression. Moon examines the tension between the demands for freedom of expression and the structure of constitutional adjudication in the Canadian context. The book discusses many of the standard freedom of expression issues, such as the regulation of advertising, election spending ceilings, the restriction of hate promotion and pornography, state compelled expression, freedom of the press, access to state and private property and state support for expression.
It examines several important Supreme Court of Canada decisions including Irwin Toy, Dolphin Delivery, RJR Macdonald, Keegstra and Butler.