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  1. Truth and privilege : libel law in Massachusetts and Nova Scotia, 1820-1840

    Campbell, Lyndsay
    Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2022

    Truth and Privilege is a comparative study that brings together legal, constitutional and social history to explore the common law's diverging paths in two kindred places committed to freedom of expression but separated by the American Revolution. Comparing Nova Scotia and Massachusetts, Lyndsay Campbell examines the development of libel law, the defences of truth and privilege, and the place of courts as fora for disputes. She contrasts courts' centrality in struggles over expression and the interpretation of individual rights in Massachusetts with concerns about defining protective boundaries for the press and individuals through institutional design in Nova Scotia. Campbell's rich analysis acts as a lens through which to understand the role of law in shaping societal change in the nineteenth century, shedding light on the essential question we still grapple with today: what should law's role be in regulating expression we perceive as harmful?

    Online Cambridge University Press

  2. Truth and privilege : libel law in Massachusetts and Nova Scotia, 1820-1840

    Campbell, Lyndsay
    Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2022

    "Truth and Privilege is a comparative study of the forces that drove the evolution of the body of law used for disciplining wayward presses and tongues in Nova Scotia and Massachusetts in the 1820s and 1830s. The book explores the interplay among legal and constitutional traditions, political and religious controversies, publishing practices, institutional logic and personalities, as these two deeply connected places worked through the implications of responsive democratic governance. Both places prized both good character and free expression, but courtrooms were far more often the site of these conflicts in Massachusetts. Professor Campbell's research on the defences of truth and privilege demonstrates the similarities and differences between these jurisdictions in how the tensions around assertions of legislative power and claims to individual conscience and expression played out. She explores the unfolding of legal and popular thought on acceptable justifications for publishing objectionable expression and the incentives institutions offered to draw participants, including women, into court or to keep them out"--Truth and Privilege is a comparative study that brings together legal, constitutional and social history to explore the common law's diverging paths in two kindred places committed to freedom of expression but separated by the American Revolution. Comparing Nova Scotia and Massachusetts, Lyndsay Campbell examines the development of libel law, the defences of truth and privilege, and the place of courts as fora for disputes. She contrasts courts' centrality in struggles over expression and the interpretation of individual rights in Massachusetts with concerns about defining protective boundaries for the press and individuals through institutional design in Nova Scotia. Campbell's rich analysis acts as a lens through which to understand the role of law in shaping societal change in the nineteenth century, shedding light on the essential question we still grapple with today: what should law's role be in regulating expression we perceive as harmful?

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