SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Dignity and liberty are concepts that originate from the preachings of Plato, Euripides and Caliph Omar. In their contemporary use, however, there exists a continuum of its constitutional interpretation with Germany and the United States at its extreme ends. Answering the humanitarian question of whether freedom of speech is to be perceived as a teleological encapsulation of a nation’s heritage, or as a reflection of libertarian instincts will subsequently determine whether inflating a balloon of the POTUS will be permitted in DC, or whether drawing a caricature of the Bavarian Prime minister will send you to prison for 80 years. The omnipotence given to the Grundwert of dignity in Germany, and in sharp contrast to the First amendment of the United States of America can be used as a tool for constitutional comparison. Furthermore, it is this omnipotence that results in an understanding of their contemporary interpretation being essential to determine whether holocaust denial, flag burning, cross burning or supposed criminal insults fall under protected speech. A good number of journalists and news agencies have tried to export the Sullivan standard to democracies that resent the liberty model. After the USA’s denial of Article 20 of the ICCPR, the possibility of a reconciliation in these converging systems has been eliminated. As Isaiah Berlin puts it, “a democracy can crush individuals as mercilessly as any dictatorship”. In a world where a majority of Western democracies were pushed with the incentive to join the European Union to accept a system where any political speech that is not in adherence with the mainstream political ideologies is unprotected, Berlin’s narrative does not feel far fetched. In sharp contrast, an incorporation hypothetical with equal protection at its penumbra and due process at its core, coupled with a judicial system pushing for the legalization of obscenity and libel may also support that narrative.
Delegates of the SOCHUM are tasked with analyzing this continuum of freedom of expression.
Primary Agenda - Freedom of expression with special emphasis on dignity and liberty.
Reserve Agenda - Safeguarding populations displaced by disasters.