Saturday, March 17, 2007

Begging For Free Speech

Here's an interesting definition of free speech: That begging is an exercise of that right:

Ireland's High Court struck down a 19th century law against begging on Thursday, ruling in favor of a beggar who had argued that his arrest violated a right to free speech, broadcaster RTE reported.

Justice Eamon De Valera rejected the argument made by Niall Dillon that the law discriminated between rich and poor.

But the judge agreed that a section of the Vagrancy Act of 1847, enacted during the Great Famine, was unconstitutional because it interfered with the rights of freedom of expression and freedom to communicate with other people.

Dillon was arrested for begging in Dublin in 2003 and charged under the law. Following the ruling, his prosecution can no longer go ahead.

The little bit that interests me is whether this is part of the Human Rights Act or something directly in hte Irish Constitution.

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