This essay makes four comparative observations regarding the issues raised in Snyder v. Phelps. These observations are derived from the author’s experience teaching comparative freedom of speech and privacy principles in summer study abroad programs. In particular, the four observations are as follows: (1) many countries recognize individual privacy as a right of co-equal stature with freedom of speech; (2) the courts of many countries explicitly balance competing privacy and free speech interests when there is a conflict between the two; (3) many countries provide greater protection of individual privacy and reputational interests than the Supreme Court recognizes under First Amendment doctrine; and (4) many countries regulate or even criminalize hateful speech.
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Stephen R. McAllister, Would Other Countries Protect the Phelpses’ Funeral Picketing?, 2010 CARDOZO L. REV. 409 (2010).