Fighting Hate Speech Through EU Law

Amsterdam Law Forum, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 20-35, 2012

16 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2012  

Uladzislau Belavusau

University of Amsterdam

Date Written: February, 14 2012


This article explores the rise of the European ‘First Amendment’ beyond national and Strasbourg law, offering a fresh look into the previously under-theorised issue of hate speech in EU law. Building its argument on (1) the scrutiny of fundamental rights protection, (2) the distinction between commercial and non-commercial speech, and, finally, (3) the looking glass of critical race theory, the paper demonstrates how the judgment of the ECJ in the Feryn case implicitly consolidated legal narratives on hate speech in Europe. In this way, the paper reconstructs the dominant European theory of freedom of expression via rhetorical and victim-centered constitutional analysis, bearing important ethical implications for European integration.

Keywords: freedom of expression, hate speech, EU non-discrimination, Feryn, critical race theory

Suggested Citation

Belavusau, Uladzislau, Fighting Hate Speech Through EU Law (February, 14 2012). Amsterdam Law Forum, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 20-35, 2012. Available at SSRN:

Uladzislau Belavusau (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Department of European Studies
PC Hoofthuis | Spuistraat 134
Amsterdam, 1012 VB


Paper statistics

Abstract Views