By David Cumin

Karl du Fresne has been a staunch supporter of free speech: opposing the phenomenon of “no platforming” on university campuses, expressing dismay at Facebook users threatening violence and bullying people into silence, and confronting the idea of New Zealand Police enforcing “hate speech” laws. For these stands against intolerance, he should be applauded.

However, his latest opinion published online in Stuff and in the Nelson Mail is a marked and surprising departure from his defence of free expression and the contestability of ideas. Mr du Fresne writes that he is sympathetic to the idea of the far-right nationalist Polish government introducing a law that would see imprisonment for anyone who, even unintentionally, claims that Poland was “responsible or co-responsible for Nazi crimes…”.

Being sympathetic to the concerns of the Polish government is one thing; supporting legislation that criminalises those who voice a controversial narrative is another.

Read the full article by David Cumin on here.