A constitution is a structure of a fundamental rules or principle or set of guides according to what a state or organization is administrated. Together all of these rules made up the constitution. When all of these rules or principles are written in a set of document, then it is consider as the written constitution. Constitution is the statement of fundamental principles of state’s policy, the executive, legislative and financial procedures etc. One of the major statement of constitution is announced is that the “Fundamental Right” of the people of state. By the definition it is, belongs to a community or a group of individual people, which declares in sense of equality claimed for all human beings. By the law of constitution parliament has the authority to enforcing the law of constitutions over people. It seems the core power lies over Government, but the reality is sovereignty lies to people of the state and that established by this “Fundamental Right” part of constitution.
Constitution is also the declaration of solemn expression of the will of people of the state. Political bodies are elected by the state of the people to run the state under the instruction of the constitution. Though, this constitution has made for reserving the right of the people of the state but still it can restrict the freedom of expression and speech of the people of the state for some very specific points.
Freedom of Expression and Speech in Constitution:
Freedom of expression and speech is something which gives the power to the people of the state to discuss about something without any restriction. From the beginning of the constitution history it did not attached, but from early documents, in some evidence found about the freedom of expression and speech in constitution. For the first time in 1689 England passed a bill about this topic, which granted the “freedom of speech” at parliament” and again in 1789 during the time of French revolution the “right of man and citizen” about the speech and expression adopted. In 1948 by the article (19) of “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” of UN, the freedom of expression and speech globally adopted (states which were under UN). In the constitution of Bangladesh the right of freedom of expression and speech of the people of the state is clearly stated in the article (39).
Again this freedom of expression and speech is highly related with other different rights. It is highly related with the right of the trial and other legal procedures. This freedom gives a person that power to criticism a civic figure and also expression the individual view at media.  Also this freedom of speech and expression is helpful to established all other human right which are stated by the constitution.
Freedom of Expression and Speech Can Be Restricted:
Freedom of expression and speech is under the fundamental right of a human being. This right is enabled for each and every person equally, but for some extent this freedom can be restricted. It was clearly stated in article 39(2), that it guarantees the freedom of expression and speech of the people of the state, but the limitation of this practice that restricted this right, and it is imposed by the law if this freedom of expression and speech in the interest of security of the state, mortality or decency, friendly relation with the foreign countries, public orders and some other reasons. This restriction can be imposed by oral or written on speech and expression which is or will be the threat for the state. In this restriction the idea of a person can also be restricted from express. It also can restrict from the right to acquire or import ideas from others. The limitation of freedom of speech and expression will not be limited within oral or verbal words. This restriction is also can be application by any symbolic reason which will affect the state’s interest. For example, if anyone shows disrespect to the notional flag of the state that, also should be restricted and punished in a legal way. Again any other symbolic way like wearing black badges, showing a flag against the government is also comes under this policy. Printing different leaflets and various other things, which are related is also comes under the right of freedom of speech and expression. Now Government has the power to under this Article 39(2) to force legal action against this poster or leaflet provider if this providing leaflet or poster is going against the state.
Now, it is important to be focused that this right of freedom of speech and expression cannot be go under the threat of Government only because the word or idea or symbol is foolish. The subject what will restrict that must need to or about to hurt the public interest, otherwise this restriction will not be allowed. Again there are some interesting points must need to follow. Like if the protest is going against the public interest or that that is making harm to the normal activities of the state but the protest is doing under the legal obligation of the court then that protest cannot be restricted under the article of 39(2). For example in Bangladesh, “Hortal” is going against the public interest but still this will not come under this term. The reason behind this cause is, the court does not identified this “Hortal” as a threat for normal public, on the other hand this “Hortal” is considering as the legal right for demanding something from the Government.
Different Aspects of this Right in the Constitution:
In the constitution of Bangladesh, it stated the right of freedom of speech and expression very clearly in the article 39. Article 39(1) gives the guarantee of the freedom conscience or thought. This freedom allowed any person to express his all types of expression in any such forms. Under this statement of constitution people are allowed to be educated. People of the state has the right to be entertained, to be informed etc. It also allows the people to communicate with others. Not only this people under this statement can enjoy share the ideas and generate the ideas. In short it can be said that people has the total freedom to express their speech and expression. All of these freedoms a person can enjoy if that does not conflict with the restriction of Article 39(2).
Article 39 also guaranteed the freedom of contact with the press. In article 39 sections 2(a) says, each and every citizen has the right of the freedom of speech and expression and it also has the freedom of the press or more direct to the media. It allowed the people of the state to communicate with media through visual or printing process. Again all these freedoms of express have not to be harmful for public interest.
Now all other human rights like right to protection of law , safe guard as to arrest and detention, freedom of movement, assembly and association is greatly depends on this article 39. Under this article 39 where freedom of expression and speech is given to the people of the state so people can take legal action against any action which affect their personal freedom.
Finally it can be expressed that the Constitution has been made for securing all the rights of the people of the state and it also ensure that the Government should not using its power against the people. So do it also focuses that people are not illegally using its freedom against the nation or public interest.
As the definition of freedom of speech, it is the right to express you through any medium without the restriction. Our constitution also gives the guarantee to follow the same definition in practically. At the same time constitution also allows to find out that weather the using of that freedom is not using in against people’s interest, and if it happens then that will be restricted by the article 39(2) of the constitution.
- 1. Brett, Sebastian (1999). Limits to tolerance: freedom of expression and the public debate
in Chile. Human Rights Watch. pp. xxv. ISBN 9781564321923.
- 2. District Court of Appeal of California, (1931). US 359. Stromberg. 283
- 3. J. & Seaton W., Register of debates in Congress, Volume 3, pp.486
- 4. Islam, M. (2003). Freedom of thought, consequences, speech and press. Constitution
Law of Bangladesh, 2(174), 239
- 5. Smith, D. (05-02-2006). “Timeline: a history of free speech”. The Guardian (London).
- 6. Supreme Court of United States, (1974). US 405.Spence, 418
- 7. The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edn.,Erin Mckean(editor),2051pages,
May 2005, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-517077-6Timeline: a history of free speech” The Guardian. February 5, 2006
- 8. U.S. Supreme Court, (1957). US 476. 354
- 9. Union of Indi, (1978), 1978AIR 597, 1978 SCR(2),621
- 10. Article 7(2)
- 11. Article 33
- 12. Article 37
- 13. Article 38
- 14. Article 39
- 15. Article 39(1)
- 16. Article 39 (2)
- 17. Article 39(2)(a)
- Definition of Freedom of Speech, Retrieved from, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/freedom+of+speech
- Human rights. (2011). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved
 The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edn.,Erin Mckean(editor),2051pages, May 2005, Oxford university Press, ISBN 0-19-517077-6
 human rights. (2011). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved
 See Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Article 7(2), “This Constitution is, as the solemn expression of the will of the people, the supreme law of the Republic, and if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution and other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”
 See Gales J. & Seaton W., Register of debates in Congress, Volume 3, pp.486, “It is the people’s constitution, the people’s government; made for the people; by the people: and answerable to the people; But the state legislatures, as political bodies, however sovereign, are yet not sovereign over the people.
 Smith, D. (05-02-2006). “Timeline: a history of free speech”. The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-02.
 Timeline: a history of free speech” The Guardian. February 5, 2006.
 See Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
 See Bangladesh Constitution, Article 39,
“Freedom of thought and conscience, and of speech.
(1) Freedom or thought and conscience is guaranteed.
(2) Subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interests of the security of
the State, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in rela-
tion to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence-
(a) the right of every citizen of freedom of speech and expression; and freedom of the
press, are guaranteed.”
 Brett, Sebastian (1999). Limits to tolerance: freedom of expression and the public debate in Chile. Human Rights Watch. pp. xxv. ISBN 9781564321923.
 See Bangladesh Constitute, Article 39 (2), “Subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interests of the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence-
(a) the right of every citizen of freedom of speech and expression; and freedom of the press, are guaranteed.
 Islam, M. (2003). Freedom of thought, consequences, speech and press. Constitution Law of Bangladesh, 2(174), 239
 District Court of Appeal of California, (1931). US 359. Stromberg. 283
 Supreme Court of United States, (1974). US 405.Spence, 418
 U.S. Supreme Court, (1957). US 476. 354
 See Bangladesh Constitution, Articles39 (1) “Freedom or thought and conscience is guaranteed.”
 Union of India, (1978), 1978 AIR 597, 1978 SCR (2), 621
 See Bangladesh constitution Article, 39(2) (a) “the right of every citizen of freedom of speech and expression; and freedom of the press, are guaranteed.”
 See Bangladesh Constitution, Article 31, “Right to protection of law. To enjoy the protection of the law, and to be treated in accordance with law, and only in accordance with law, is the inalienable right of every citizen, wherever he may be, and of every other person for the time being within Bangladesh, and in particular no action detrimental to the life, liberty, body, reputation or property of any person shall be taken except in accordance with law.”
 Article 33
 Article 36
 Article 37
 Article 38