Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Litigating the Danish Cartoons

Robert A. Kahn, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota), has published Tragedy, Farce or Legal Mobilization? The Danish Cartoons in Court in France and Canada as U. of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-21. Here is the abstract.

Why would anyone prosecute the Danish Cartoons? Even as North Americans and Europeans debated whether the cartoons should have been commissioned by the Jyllands Posten or republished elsewhere, most agreed that prosecutions were totally out of line in a liberal Western state. And, yet, there were prosecutions in both France and Canada. While each prosecution ultimately failed from a legal perspective, both cases also operated on the level of symbolic politics. Here the results were mixed. While the Muslim groups that sued Charlie Hebdo won a partial victory when a French court conceded that the turban cartoon was, standing alone, offensive to Muslims, the Canadian Human Rights prosecution against Ezra Levant ended with the entire system of human rights proceedings on trial. This paper tells the story of these two cases.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

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