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ECtHR launches factsheets on Hate Speech and Sexual Orientation

February 21st 2012

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has recently launched two factsheets: one on Hate Speech and the other on Sexual Orientation.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg has recently published two factsheets on its case-law which are relevant to legal experts and practitioners involved in anti-discrimination law – including legal staff/experts from national equality bodies, from the European Institutions, as well as other international organisations and European NGOs.

The first is the Factsheet on Hate Speech (click to download) which, in addition to information on case-law and pending cases, also provides a guide to a set of "general principles" that the Court adheres to when dealing with cases potentially involving hate speech.

The topic was also on the agenda of last year’s Equinet Legal Training (Conflicts between the right to equality and the freedom of expression) and is of continuous interest to national equality bodies when dealing with discrimination complaints where the alleged discriminating party attempts to justify its discriminatory treatment/harassment with his/her freedom of expression.

The ECtHR has also published a second Factsheet on Sexual Orientation (click to download) covering case law and pending cases dealing with sexual orientation and themes such as marriage, adoption, parental rights, employment, social rights, the right to a lease, freedom of assembly and association, homophobia and ill-treatment in prisons, sexual orientation hate speech and the risk arising from the return of homosexuals to their country of origin.