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GHANA INDEPENDENT BROADCASTERS ASSOCIATION V. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND NATIONAL MEDIA COMMISSION

(2016) JELR 68165 (SC)

Supreme Court  •  WRIT NO: J1/4/2016  •  30 Nov 2016  •  Ghana

Coram
AKUFFO (MS) JSC PRESIDING, DOTSE JSC, BAFFOE-BONNIE JSC, AKOTO- BAMFO (MRS) JSC, BENIN JSC, AKAMBA JSC, PWAMANG JSC

Judgement

JUDGMENT

BENIN, JSC

My Lords, this is a matter that touches the heart of our democratic process, talking about freedom of expression in all its facets. In democratic societies it is regarded as the most prominent fundamental right, a lever upon which all other rights hinge. In an article by Harry H. Wellington titled ‘On Freedom of Expression’ 88 Yale L.J. 1105, the author suggests that free speech is preservative of other freedoms. In MURDOCK v. PENNYSLVANIA, 319 U.S. 105, 115 (1943) free speech is given what was described as ‘preferred’ position. In other words, it is afforded more extensive immunity from external interference than most other human endeavours. This fact was not lost on the Committee of Experts who drafted the proposals that culminated in the adoption of the 1992 Constitution. The Committee opened their proposals with a quotation from the renowned John Stuart Mill, who wrote that “if all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silen…

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