Antonio Vallini

Criminalizing hate speech to avert collective violence? Working hypotheses about the offence of "racist propaganda"

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The essay provides an unusual approach about criminalization of racist propaganda (and also about the interpretation of Art 604-bis of Italian Penal Code), in order to focus the trend of racism toward institutionalization due to political “hate speechµ strategies. Therefore, only propaganda which can actually be converted into discriminatory public actions, or even into contextual elements of international crimes, should be qualified as a crime: an outcome constitutionally untenable in itself, regardless of ability to urge “hate crimesµ. The risk of restricting individual freedom of speech seems to be reduced, since individuals, quite to the contrary, are going, in this way, to be protected from abuses of public authorities. In addition, a definition of racism is adopted, which necessarily implies false assertions, that don’t deserve a strong constitutional protection. Besides, such assertions are perhaps better exposed to the dynamics of the “free market of ideasµ in a criminal trial, than in a public debate widely biased by new media.


  • Racism
  • Propaganda
  • Criminal Law


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