Corrado Caruso

Dignity of the «Others» and Spaces of Freedom for the «Intolerants». For a New Reading of Article 21 of the Italian Constitution.

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Free Speech, Communities, Hate Speech, Public Discourse

The «firstness» of freedom of speech is questioned by new postmodern critics, who underline the role of cultural communities in the shaping of individual personality and affirm the relativity of fundamental rights, conceived as a historical product of Western culture. According to these critics, hate speech is a powerful instrument through which hegemonic groups reproduce social hierarchies. After having surveyed the criminal sanctions against hate speech in Italy, the article questions the criminalization of hate speech, calling for an intervention of the Constitutional Court. Freedom of speech creates the public discourse, a social realm that allows a mutual political comprehension between individuals and different communities. In order to fulfil its function, public discourse must therefore be neutral with regard to the content of the speech.

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