LAW37620 Law and Hate

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module seeks to introduce students to the topical issue of hate speech and how it is regulated at the international and European levels, as well as comparatively in various jurisdictions. There is not a universal definition for hate speech, so the first part of the module will focus on distinguishing between the notions of free speech, hate speech, and incitement to violence or discrimination according to international law. The second part of the module will concentrate on European approaches to hate speech and the third part will compare selected national approaches. A final part will be devoted to regulatory approaches to tackle online hate speech.

Students will be encouraged to actively participate in the module via Brightspace and during classes.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this module you should be able to:

1. Differentiate between legal and illegal expressions according to various international, European, national standards and different factual situations.
2. Analyse key legislation and case-law from different jurisdictions concerning free speech, hate speech and incitement to violence or discrimination.
3. Assess and compare the regulatory approach of different jurisdictions to address hate speech and related issues and the links between different regulatory approaches and underlying socio-cultural issues.
4. Critically analyse judgments dealing with free speech, hate speech and incitement to violence or discrimination issues, and present that analysis as a “case note”.

Indicative Module Content:

This module will cover the following topics:

1. Introduction to legal and illegal expression

2. Hate speech and incitement to violence: The approach of the European Court of Human Rights

3. Hate speech and incitement to violence: The EU approach

4. Hate speech and incitement to violence: National Approaches (Ireland, the US)

5. The regulatory challenges posed by online hate speech

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning


Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Learning activities include:

-Interactive seminars
-Accessing resources
-Individual study (e.g. preparing for lectures in advance)
-Self-directed research
-Problem solving
-Case note writing

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

For non-law students, it is strongly recommended to pass the module "LAW10450 Law and Courts" before taking this module.

If this is not the case (e.g. because they are international students), they should at least be able to read a judgment and understand basic legal terminology and jargon used in judgments.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Drafting a case note on a judgment selected from a given list (3000 words maximum). Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Attendance: Attendance and participation during seminars (in at least 70%) of seminars. Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale No


Assignment: The students will be required to submit the factual summary and the outline of the case note (1000 words maximum) Week 8 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

-During seminars, you will be offered informal feedback during (orally), when asking questions or when replying to questions. -You will have the chance to engage in various online activities for which you will receive feedback (automated feedback) or you will be given materials to self-assess your progress. -In addition, you will receive formal feedback (in written) on at least two occasions: 1. You will be given individual feedback on your case note outline. 2. Post-examination (after the submission of your case note), class feedback will be posted on Brightspace (indicative, not full model answers).

There is not one single textbook that suits this module. However, there are a range of texts that will be used as basic sources for the module, and additional specific sources will be recommended for each specific topic.

The basic reading list includes:

• Howard, Erica. Freedom of expression and religious hate speech in Europe. (Routledge 2017)
• Belavusau, Uladzislau. Freedom of Speech. Importing European and US Constitutional Models in Transitional Democracies (Routledge 2013)
• Zeno-Zencovich, Vincenzo. Freedom of expression: A critical and comparative analysis. (Routledge 2008)
• Brown, Alex. Hate Speech Law (Routledge 2017)
• Heinze, Eric. Hate Speech and Democratic Citizenship Paperback (OUP 2017)
• Oppenheimer, David B., et al. Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law (Edward Elgar 2020) [Chapter 13]
• Strossen, Nadine. HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship (Inalienable Rights) [OUP 2018]
Name Role
Dr Sahar Ahmed Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Sara Benedí Lahuerta Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Sergey Katsuba Lecturer / Co-Lecturer