The arguments for freedom of expression were identified by Mill (Section 2.3.3) as democracy, self-fulfilment and the testing of truth. They were taken up by Lord Steyn in R v Secretary of State for the Home Dept, ex parte Simms (1999) –; see also R (BBC) v Secretary of State for Justice (2012) –. As regards democracy, Lord Steyn emphasised freedom of expression in informing debate, as a safety valve to encourage consent and as a brake on the abuse of power. Democracy can flourish only in circumstances where there is a free press with access to government. Thus, in Hector v A-G of Antigua and Bermuda  2 All ER 103 Lord Bridge said that ‘in a free democratic society … those who hold office in government must always be open to criticism. Any attempt to stifle or fetter such criticism amounts to political censorship of the most insidious and objectionable kind.’ However, in R v Shaylor  Lord Hutton suggested, redolent of the ‘dignified constitution’ (Section 1.6), that freedom of expression might undesirably weaken confidence in those who govern us (although the opposite might be said).
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