UCL Institute for Human Rights


Speech Matters

19 May 2016, 9:30 am–6:00 pm

Event Information

Open to



The UCL Faculty of Laws and the UCL Institute for Human Rights


UCL Pavillion (Main Quad), Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

A day-conference with Professor Seana Shiffrin on her book Speech Matters(Princeton, 2014)

Accreditation: This event is accredited with 2.5 CPD hours with the SRA and BSB

The UCL Institute for Human Rights is hosting a one-day conference on Seana Shiffrin’s book, Speech Matters (Princeton University Press). Professor Shiffrin is one of the world’s leading legal and moral philosophers. Her recent book, Speech Matters, offers a new philosophical approach to freedom of speech and brings it to bear on a number of thorny legal and political issues. These include the legal regulation of lying and deception, police misrepresentation, restrictions on commercial speech, freedom of speech and academic freedom, freedom of speech of employees, and many others. Drawing on legal as well as philosophical arguments, the book defends a series of notable claims: that lying is a separate wrong from deception, that lies are not protected by free speech, that duress does not necessarily justify lying or breaking a promise and that police subvert their mission when they lie to suspects.

The participants

The Programme

Morning session

09:30-10:00‘Chapter 1: Lies and the Murderer Next Door’
Dr Kate Greasley (University of Oxford) and Dr Chris Mills (University College London)
10:00-10:15Response by Professor Seana Shiffrin (UCLA)
10:15-10:30Q & A session
10:30-11:00‘Chapter 2: Duress and Moral Progress’
Professor David Owens (King’s College London) and Professor Nicos Stavropoulos (University of Oxford)
11:00-11:15Response by Professor Seana Shiffrin (UCLA)
11:15-11:30Q & A session
11:30-11:45Refreshment break
11:45-12:00‘Chapter 3: A Thinker-Based Approach to Freedom of Speech’
Professor Leslie Green (University of Oxford) and Professor Eric Barendt (University College London)
12:00-12:15Q & A session
Afternoon session 
14:00-14:30‘Chapter 4: Lying and Freedom of Speech’
Professor Rae Langton (University of Cambridge) and Professor Leslie Kendrick (University of Virginia)
14:30-14:45Responses by Professor Seana Shiffrin (UCLA)
14:45-15:00Q & A session
15:00-15:30‘Chapter 5: Accommodation, Equality and the Liar’
Dr Nicholas Hatzis (City University London) and Professor Micah Schwartzman (University of Virginia)
15:30-15:45Responses by Professor Seana Shiffrin (UCLA)
15:45-16:00Q & A session
16:00-16:15Refreshment break
16:15-16:45‘Chapter 6: Sincerity and Institutional Values’
Dr Amanda Greene (University College London) and Dr Virginia Mantouvalou(University College London)
16:45-17:00Responses by Professor Seana Shiffrin (UCLA)
17:00-17:15Q & A session