Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« The Comeback Gal? | Main | Quelle surprise! »

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Liberty vs. Security: Insights from Dr. Moin Yahya

The Freedom Fair in Edmonton on Saturday, May 17th is shaping up to be an exciting event. The Libertarian Party of Canada announced today that Dr. Moin A. Yahya will be speaking on liberty vs. security as part of a national security panel.

Yahya is an assistant professor of law at the University of Alberta, where he is also the associate dean for graduate studies and the acting associate dean for research. He has a B.A. (Hons) in Economics and a M.A. in economics from the University of Alberta; a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Toronto. He has a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and was the articles editor of the law review. He researches Corporate, Antitrust, Criminal, and Intellectual Property Law. Yahya is a director with the Canadian Constitution Foundation.

If you can’t wait until May 17th, here’s an excerpt from Dr. Yahya’s presentation of this topic, originally written for the Canadian Constitution Foundation.

Conservative defenders of the current war on terror strategy frame the issue as one of necessity. Though conservatives are normally sceptical of government, its defenders claim, such scepticism must “yield to the greater threat to national security.” Slogans such “The Constitution is not a suicide pact” have been bandied about to justify the rise of Leviathan (not that Leviathan ever needs a real excuse to grow – the war on terror is just the latest convenient excuse.)

I am always amazed at and bewildered by conservatives who repeat a maxim made popular by Justice Jackson in a dissent from a decision upholding the free speech rights of a priest.3 In other words, Justice Jackson was arguing in favour of convicting a priest for a speech he gave that inflamed the passions of protesters outside where he was delivering the speech. What Justice Jackson found worth subordinating to the greater good was not the rights of terrorists to roam free or the rights of saboteurs to be free from arrest; but rather the free speech rights of an ordinary American priest. If this is what he was willing to declare suicide, i.e. free speech, then all Americans and Canadians should be fearful of where the limits of his logic would lead us.

The Freedom Fair is a public event being held at the Holiday Inn Express (10010 – 104 Street) from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Dr. Yahya is speaking from 1:15 PM – 2:00 PM.

Admission is only $10 for the entire event.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on May 1, 2008 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Liberty vs. Security: Insights from Dr. Moin Yahya:


This will be the apex of the day. All people who ponder this issue should attend.

Posted by: abc | 2008-05-02 9:58:40 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.