Report No. 101
Position in England, U.S.A., Canada and Some of Commonwealth Countries
It would be of interest to note the position on the subject under consideration in selected other countries. Of course, in embarking upon a comparative survey, two broad propositions must be emphasised at the outset. In the first place, many countries do not have, in their Constitutions (whether written or unwritten), the concept of fundamental rights, so that the topic of freedom of speech and expression, as also the topics of other freedoms, must, in regard to those countries, be approached only as a part of a discussion of the rules of ordinary law.
Secondly, some of the foreign countries do not have a codified law, even in regard to ordinary rights. Hence, a discussion of the precise extent and coverage of a particular freedom, as recognised even in ordinary law, must, in regard to those countries, be derived from the substance of the relevant judicial decisions, if any, on the subject. This aspect is also vital to the present study, because it is elementary that a statement of the legal position as derived from case law cannot be so precise as a statement based on the text of a statute. Since then would be no formal and authoritative formulation of the relevant rules, question such as the meaning of the expression "citizen" or of the expression "person" (or other analogous statutory expressions) cannot be dealt with where the law is not codified.