free marketplace of ideas; doktryna wolnego rynku idei
"Z Dziejów Prawa" (T. 4 (2011), s. 111-134)
Many arguments were used to account for the postulate of granting an individual the broadest
scope of the freedom of expression. Among them, a predominating and most pertinacious was a hypothesis that a free speech is especially precious as it leads to the revelation of the truth.
The latter, however, will be brought to light when all the opinions are clearly expressed under the
circumstances of a free and unregulated marketplace of ideas.
A doctrine of a free marketplace of ideas, the beginning of which dates back to 1644, remains
the most significant form of specification of the idea of the freedom of speech. It shapes
international standards of speech freedom, not only in the world of the Western culture. The
supreme courts in democratic countries (including the Polish Constitutional Tribune) refer to it,
justifying their adjudications in cases in which the heart of the matter concerns the freedom of
expression. It has been so despite numerous voices of criticism addressed at the doctrine in question
for at least several dozen years. In the light of the above-mentioned, it seems necessary and
intentional to present the origins, evolution and a practical application of a doctrine of “a free
marketplace of ideas”.