Right to free speech

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Argument

One cannot be punished for giving solicited counsel.

This also is incident to the nature of counsel; that whatsoever it be, he that asketh it cannot in equity accuse or punish it: for to ask counsel of another is to permit him to give such counsel as he shall think best; and consequently, he that giveth counsel to his sovereign (whether a monarch or an assembly) when he asketh it, cannot in equity be punished for it, whether the same be conformable to the opinion of the most, or not, so it be to the proposition in debate. For if the sense of the assembly can be taken notice of, before the debate be ended, they should neither ask nor take any further counsel; for sense of the assembly is the resolution of the debate and end of all deliberation. And generally he that demandeth counsel is author of it, and therefore cannot punish it; and what the sovereign cannot, no man else can. But if one subject giveth counsel to another to do anything contrary to the laws, whether that counsel proceed from evil intention or from ignorance only, it is punishable by the Commonwealth; because ignorance of the law is no good excuse, where every man is bound to take notice of the laws to which he is subject.

Hobbes, Lev XXV 5

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