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Public Employee Speech and the Privatization of the First Amendment

Oct 10, 2012, 12:30pm-2pm

Adam Shinar, a SJD candidate at Harvard Law School, will deliver a talk about what he sees as a paradox in American First Amendment jurisprudence. Citizens’ speech has generally received increasing protection, however, constitutional protection for public employee speech has increasingly been circumscribed.

To explain this move, a novel theory will be put forward, the “public/private convergence thesis.”  Shinar will ague that decreasing speech protections result from a background understanding that views public employees as no different from private employees and hence seeks to equalize their constitutional status by leveling down the constitutional rights enjoyed by public employees to those of private sector employees.

The background understanding that informs public employee speech doctrine maps onto larger structural transformations in the public workplace that exhibit similar trajectories – privatization and civil service reforms at the state level. The former exports tasks traditionally performed by government to the private sector. The latter imports private sector management models into the public sector. The article demonstrates how these structural transformations, together with the loss of legal protection, generate far reaching implications in terms of speech rights that up until now have remained largely unexplored.

Shinar holds law degrees from Harvard (LL.M.) and from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (LL.B.). He researches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, administrative law, and the intersection of constitutional law and employment law.

All are invited to attend, lunch will be served.

To RSVP (required) click here and enter Event Code: SHINAR


Location:2027 Ignat Kaneff Building, Osgoode Hall Law School
Sponsor:Osgoode Hall Law School
Posted by:Jody-Ann Rowe-Butler
Web Sitehttp://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/research/rsvp
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