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Legislating against Internet race hate

Brennan, Fernne (2009) 'Legislating against Internet race hate.' Information & Communications Technology Law, 18 (2). pp. 123-153. ISSN 1360-0834

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Abstract

The development of the Internet provides social spaces that enable users to promote race hate. It is argued that race hate hurts but its victims are relatively powerless in the face of this growing problem, and states do not appear to be effective in the light of jurisdictional restrictions. In addressing these concerns the Council of Europe has adopted the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime, Concerning the Criminalisation of acts of Racist and Xenophobic Nature Committed through Computer Systems (2003) (‘the Protocol’). Its remit obliges States to legislate or otherwise prohibit the use of computer systems for the dissemination of racist materials. This paper argues that on a number of grounds the Protocol does not stand up to the test of effectiveness. This is because it is couched in terms that prioritise freedom of speech over freedom from racial discrimination. A preferable approach would give more weight to equality and non-discrimination which states are required to defend. Furthermore, since the prohibition of the proliferation of race hate is the Council of Europe's main concern it must make the case for this in the context of institutional racism, rather than as an element in the juggling of rights.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JX International law
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2012 09:17
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2012 09:19
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/3646

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