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  • Antoine Buyse (a1)

How should one balance the freedom of expression and the prevention of violence? This article delves into the grey zone between hate speech and incitement to violence by assessing the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights in cases of allegedly dangerous speech. Rather than labelling this case law as simplistic, as some critics even within the Court have done, it is shown that the jurisprudence reveals cleavages within the Court on whether to adopt a more or less consequentialist approach on the links between speech and violence. Freedom of expression cases should preferably be assessed on the merits under Article 10 ECHR since this allows for a balancing of the various interests involved. The application of the abuse of rights clause of Article 17 ECHR is for that very reason undesirable, in addition to its inconsistent use by the Court.

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E Heinze , ‘Viewpoint Absolutism and Hate Speech’ (2006) 69 MLR 543, 573–4

T McGonigle , ‘A Survey and Critical Analysis of Council of Europe Strategies for Countering Hate Speech’ in M Herz and P Molnar (eds), The Content and Context of Hate Speech. Rethinking Regulations and Responses (CUP2012)

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International & Comparative Law Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0020-5893
  • EISSN: 1471-6895
  • URL: /core/journals/international-and-comparative-law-quarterly
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