Human dignity versus freedom of expression: An evaluation of necessary balance in Zambia
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Human dignity is one of the founding values of our Constitution. Human dignity is the source of a person's innate rights to freedom and to physical integrity. Human dignity and reputation have to be protected. This is where the tort of defamation comes in because this law attempts to protect the interest of an individual in his dignity and reputation. Where a defendant makes a statement that injures the claimant on his reputation hence causing the claimant to be lowered in the estimation of right thinking members of society, the claimant will have a cause of action in a defamation suit. On the other hand there is the freedom of expression. The importance of this freedom is that it allows people to voice their views, morals and independence as well as political opinions. This becomes a problem because a balance has to be attained between human dignity and freedom of expression. The courts therefore are required to balance the interest of an individual in the protection of his reputation and against the freedom of speech of the person who allegedly makes the defamatory statement. This has brought about a conflict between human these two rights. This dissertation focused on evaluating the effectiveness of the laws governing the two rights. It examined whether these pieces of legislation have adequately and effectively addressed prevailing importance of the two rights at the same level. The study methodology was based on secondary sources and evaluation of other academic materials.The dissertation made a comparative study with South Africa's human dignity and freedom of expression legal regime. The findings of the comparative study were that South Africa has enacted comprehensive and better pieces of legislation. Further, the dissertation identified problems in the various pieces of legislation in Zambia and has therefore given recommendations in order to fill up such shortfalls.
- Law