Hate Speech in Constitutional Jurisprudence: A Comparative Analysis

63 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2001

See all articles by Michel Rosenfeld

Michel Rosenfeld

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Date Written: April 2001


The United States protects much hate speech that is banned in other Western constitutional democracies and under international human rights covenants and conventions. In the United States, only hate speech that leads to "incitement to violence" can be constitutionally restricted, while under the alternative approach found elsewhere, bans properly extend to hate speech leading to "incitement to hatred." The article undertakes a comparative analysis in light of changes brought by new technologies, such as the internet, which allow for worldwide spread of protected hate speech originating in the United States. After evaluating the respective doctrines, arguments and values involved, the article concludes that the United States approach is less defensible than its counterparts elsewhere.

Suggested Citation

Rosenfeld, Michel, Hate Speech in Constitutional Jurisprudence: A Comparative Analysis (April 2001). Cardozo Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 41. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=265939 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.265939

Michel Rosenfeld (Contact Author)

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )

55 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-790-0234 (Phone)
212-790-0205 (Fax)

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