Hate speech regulations

The standards of regulating hate speech differ from country to country: while hate speech is a criminal offence in the majority of the European Union member countries, in the United States, an opinion, including hate speech, is protected by absolute privilege, save for the cases when there is a clear, present and inevitable danger of violence. When testing for clear and present danger, the restriction of the freedom of expression is determined based on the danger and damage that this expression may cause. The most high-profile example of clear and present danger is the preparation of the grounds for genocide of the Tutsi ethnic group in 1994 and direct calls for the annihilation of the Tutsi population by the Rwandan radio station (Thousand Hills Free Radio and Television (RTLMC)), resulting in 800,000 deaths.

Hate speech is not criminalised in Georgia either, apart from the cases when there is clear and present danger test. Programmatic restrictions on hate speech are determined only for broadcasters, prohibiting them from broadcasting programmes which insult and discriminate against a person or a group on the grounds of their physical abilities, ethnicity, religion, worldview, gender, sexual orientation or other qualities or status or place a special emphasis on such qualities or a status, with the exception of cases when this is necessary due to the content of a programme and aims to illustrate such hatred.

Hate speech regulations are part of the codes of ethics and codes of conduct in all countries and entail both negative and positive obligations.

Negative obligations


Positive obligations