USC Gould School of Law professor Rebecca Brown recently helped to lead an international conference on hate speech at New York University with colleagues from the University of Copenhagen and New York University Law School.
The two-day conference brought together scholars from around the world to discuss the broader social and philosophical issue of hate speech and free expression as well as constitutional issues.
Jeremy Waldron of New York University and Henning Koch of the University of Copenhagen organized the event with Brown.
Panelists considered such expressions as racist messages on the Internet, public expressions of hatred for ethnic and religious minorities, denunciations of people on grounds of sexual preference or national origin, cross burnings, violent pornography, swastikas and other anti-Semitic desecrations.
“Hate speech is a form of expression that can undermine the democratic premise of equal status for all persons,” said Brown, who led a discussion on equality and hate speech. “This workshop was a chance for theorists from different legal cultures to think together about the global problem of extreme speech and how a democracy should address it.”