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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access August 21, 2020

Common and Comprehensive European Definition of Hate-Speech Alternative Proposal

Andraž Teršek EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Political Science


Europe needs to define the term and legal (criminal & constitutional) concept of “hate speech” precisely. The definition must be written in legal literature and in legislation. It must also be offered by the European Constitutional Courts and, last but not least, by the ECtHR. A descriptive definition offered inter alia by the ECtHR judgement in case of Vejdeland vs. Sweden (2012) was only a guidance. The new ECtHR judgement in the case of Carl Jóhann Lilliendahl vs. Iceland (11th of June 2020) addressed “homophobic speech” as “hate speech” directly. By combining the ECtHR case-law on freedom of expression in the last five years with understanding of this concept in the Slovenian Criminal Code (and with only subordinated reference to the understanding of this term by the European Commission) the author offers an alternative proposal for a new, common and comprehensive European definition of “hate speech.”

Received: 2020-07-07
Accepted: 2020-08-10
Published Online: 2020-08-21
Published in Print: 2020-01-01

© 2020 Andraž Teršek, published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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