Hugo Abas Frazão Andrea Gatti

Free speech and sedition in Brazil. National legal perspective and the international law

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The arrest warrant against a Federal MP, Daniel Silveira, issued by the Brasilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), has been stirred a debate in the country about the capacity and the ability of democratic institutions to counteract antidemocratic hate speechs. In the case, the STF has been using the National Security Act, enacted during the Brazilian military dictatorship, to restrict the personal freedom and the freedom of expression of MP Silveira, by accusing him to attempt to democratic stability. In September 2021 the Brazilian Parliament enacted a new Law for the protection of the democracy which replaced the National Security Act. Starting from this case, the essay aims at establishing a dialogue between the Brazilian legal order, the Inter-american human rights system and the European Convention of Human Rights in respect of the limits to free speech, where putting in danger the democratic order and the rule of law. The final goal of the paper is to plot a constitutional framework in assisting the Brazilian lawmaker and the constitutional justice to regulate the phenomenon of incitement of hate directed against democratic institutions on the basis of the general principles and norms of the global constitutional order.


  • Brazil
  • militant democracy
  • hate speech
  • Federal Supreme Court
  • ECHR


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