Centre for Communication Governance at NLU delhi
Theory of Sedition

Roger B. Manning, The Origins of the Doctrine of Sedition, Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Summer, 1980), pp. 99-121 [restricted access]

The author provides an account of the historical evolution of the doctrine of sedition which is important for analysing the basis of modern Sedition Laws.

View More

M.G. Wallace, Constitutionality of Sedition Laws, Virginia Law Review, Vol. 6, No. 6 (Mar., 1920), pp. 385-399 [restricted access]

This article examines the constitutionality of Sedition Laws in the United States and its relation with the freedom of speech and expression. The author also provides an account of the historical underpinnings of Sedition Laws.

View More

Walter Berns, Freedom of the Press and the Alien and Sedition Laws: A Reappraisal, The Supreme Court Review, 1970 [restricted access]

The author analyses the Alien and Sedition Laws in America in the backdrop of Freedom of Press and the Alien and Sedition Laws.

View More

Article 19, Submission to The Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review of Sedition Laws, April 2006 [Open Access]

This is a report submitted to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review of Sedition Laws. The report is relevant for the arguments it advances against sedition Laws from a constitutional perspective. While the report is set in an Australian context, it includes international perspectives of sedition law, and is therefore relevant of other jurisdictions.

View More

Joshua Azriel, Five years after 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: Are New sedition laws needed to capture suspected terrorists in the United States, 6(1) Connecticut Public Law Journal 1 (2006) [restricted access]

This article, by looking back through almost the last 100 years of American history, shows that the current laws on sedition and free speech in the post-9/11 era parallel those adopted from two other time periods in American history, i.e. World War One and the Cold War. It also argues that changes in current sedition laws are not needed to fight the war on terrorism five years after the attacks on September 11, 2001.

View More

William Mayton, Seditious Libel and the lost guarantee of a Freedom of Expression, Columbia Law Review (1984) [restricted access]

This article advances a new understanding of the original guarantee of freedom of speech under the American Constitution, before the First Amendment. It is also about the modern implications of the original guarantee about speech-how it provides tougher and more juridical standards for limiting discretionary government power over speech and how it avoids costs to speech that America presently tolerates under a wholly rights-oriented and litigation-intensive mode of protecting speech.

View More

Julia Schenck Koffler & Bennet L. Gershman, The New Seditious Libel, 69 Cornell Law Review 816 (1983-84) [restricted access]

This Article argues that the law on seditious libel is essentially anti-democratic. It seeks to demonstrate that authoritarianism, political insecurity, diabolization of dissenters, and a hysterical fear of opposition have traditionally accompanied waves of prosecution for seditious libel. In conclusion, it proposes a theory of how courts should decide these cases under an enlightened view of freedom of speech and suggest the outlines of a first amendment theory that would spell the death of seditious libel.

View More

Laurence W Maher, ‘The Use and Abuse of Sedition’ (1992) 14 Sydney Law Review 287 [Open Access]

The article examines fragments of the history of sedition and like prosecutions in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America in the twentieth century. It argues that, as long as the various sedition offences remain, governments will inevitably be tempted to use them improperly, especially when highly unpopular opinions are expressed, that the law of sedition is anachronistic and an unjustified interference with freedom of expression, and that abolition of sedition offences at both Commonwealth and State level is therefore to be preferred to any attempt to “modernise” the crime of sedition.

View More

June Eichbaum, The antagonism between Freedom of Speech and Seditious Libel, 5 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 445 (1978) [Open Access]

This article debates the question of whether the First Amendment repudiated seditious libel at the time of its adoption. It discusses the widely criticized Sedition Act of 1798 and concludes that even though the modern consensus is that the 1798 Act violated the First Amendment guarantees of right to freedom of speech and press, the proposition that the First Amendment at its adoption repudiated the common law crime of seditious libel remains doubtful.

View More

Geoffrey Winston Russell Palmer, Political Speech and Sedition, 11 & 12 Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence 36 (2009) [Open Access]

This article considers the law of sedition, tracing its history through the origins and evolution of such laws in England. It discusses the philosophy behind freedom of expression, identifying the four commonly held justifications for the principle. It contemplates the tradition of free speech in the United States and the relationship between First Amendment free speech, defamation, and sedition, as illustrated in the case New York Times v Sullivan. It argues that sedition (in the form of defamation against the government) strikes at the very heart of democracy and that political freedom ends when government can use its powers and its courts to silence its critics.

View More

Laura K. Donoghue, Terrorist Speech and the Future of Free Expression, 27(1) Cardozo Law Review 234 (2005) [Open Access]

This article analyses sedition and related laws in the United States of America and the United Kingdom to determine the circumstances under which the interests of the State are secured and the opportunism of terrorist organizations avoided. It argues that the changes in the American or British law that were touted to protect free speech, are more restrictive than is widely understood. The article concludes that the national security exceptions are too broad, and has led to the use of counter-terrorism measures against non-violent opposition.

View More

Stay updated about our latest news and events.

Thanks For Subscribing To Our Newsletter