Free Speech Consequentialism: An Australian Account
This work addresses the extent to which jurisprudence on the implied freedom of political communication can be seen as a kind of free speech consequentialism. Building on the work of Goldberg in the American context it is argued that specific features of the implied freedom can be characterised as consequentialist. Both in its justification and application the implied freedom operates according to consequentialist norms — protecting speech only insofar as it goes to facilitating representative government and restricting as much when it conflicts with a sufficiently pressing interest. Because of this, jurisprudence on the implied freedom illustrates a type of consequentialist reasoning that emphasises ends rather than rights — with significant results for the protection of free speech in this country.