Thomas Gibbons Professor University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Thomas Gibbons is a Professor of Law at the University of Manchester. He was Dean and Head of the School of Law from 2000 to 2003. His main research interests are in media and communications law and regulation. He is a founding editor of the Journal of Media Law, and his publications include Regulating the Media (Sweet & Maxwell, 1998) and Audiovisual Regulation under Pressure: Comparative Cases from North America and Europe (with Peter Humphreys, Routledge, 2012).

Free speech, communication, and the state

Drawing on a trend in human rights literature to recognise ‘positive’ freedoms and the role of the state in promoting them, this paper examines the notion of liberty which underlies the political and legal doctrines of freedom of speech. It argues that an intelligible conception of the activity of engaging in speech entails a stronger version of the right to free speech than merely protecting against non-interference by the state. Further, state intervention is actually required in order to provide adequate safeguards for the right.