Nuno Igreja Matos and Rui Patrício speak to PÚBLICO about the normalisation of hate speech

Lawyers Nuno Igreja Matos and Rui Patrício talk about the normalisation of hate speech in an article in the newspaper PÚBLICO entitled "Freedom to hate. Where does hate speech begin?".

Partner Rui Patrício says that the discussion on the criminalisation of hate speech should not be seen as a question of crimes of opinion and highlights the importance of maintaining a balance in criminal law, intervening only in serious situations in accordance with the "principle of minimum intervention": "So it's not all a crime. And, above all, these cases cannot be seen as crimes of opinion or crimes of dissent. That's not what this is about," argues the Morais Leitão partner.

For his part, associate Nuno Igreja Matos believes that individuals with extreme views on society should not be excluded from public debate, as long as they manage to present their ideas in a constructive way for the public space: "It's obvious that insulting people is not useful for public debate, but discussing immigration policies, even if they are based on prejudices that we might consider grotesque, can have a public interest and deserves to be taken into consideration."

This article in the newspaper PÚBLICO also points out examples of comments on social networks that constitute hate speech, but which remain online even after denunciations. It also discusses the importance of establishing clear criteria for identifying prohibited hate speech and the need to understand and integrate citizens who adhere to radicalised messages.

Click here to access the full article.

(This article is only available in Portuguese)