Lawrence, Justice Barak discuss free speech issuesIn a stop on President Fred Lawrence's two-week trip to Israel, he and former Israeli Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak traded viewpoints on free speech in a public forum at Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem.
The June 16 event was moderated by Dan Terris, vice president for global affairs, who noted Brandeis' long and fruitful association with the institution.
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"In the 1990s we began participating in conversations about how we could work together to provide some important intellectual programs that could serve the broader Jerusalem community and serve the international community," Terris said.
The two legal scholars traded American and Israeli perspectives on freedom of expression, including discussion of fighting words, hate speech, hurt feelings, dignity and other topics.
"Our doctrine is in many ways different, but in many cases we reach the same results," Barak says of the two nations' free speech doctrines.
Barak, whom Terris called "a giant of Israeli legal tradition," has spoken at Brandeis on numerous occasions, including at commencement in 2004, when he was awarded an honorary degree.
The visit to Israel is Lawrence's first trip abroad since taking the helm of the university this spring.