Dr Gas and Dr Rey take part in the 9th International Symposium on Canon Law, focused on religious freedom in the digital era

15/07/19
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The lecturers presented the paper “The eradication of hate speech for religious motives in the digital environment”

Dr Gas and Dr Rey take part in the 9th International Symposium on Canon Law, focused on religious freedom in the digital era

Montserrat Gas, vice-dean of the Faculty and professor of Ecclesiastical Law, and Pilar Rey, a lecturer in the Area of Criminal Law, took part in the 9th International Symposium on Canon Law in Madrid, from 5-7 June. The symposium revolved around the topic of the right to religious freedom in the digital environment. 

Issues analysed by the participants included the opportunities that the Internet provides to transmit evangelising messages, as well as discussion on the permanence of religious belief in an increasingly technological world, the visibility of religious confessions in the digital environment and viral hate crimes on social media. The latter was the topic of the presentation given by the two UIC Barcelona lecturers: “La erradicación del discurso de odio por motivos religiosos en el entorno digital” [The eradication of hate speech for religious motives in the digital environment]. 

This study addresses a specific aspect of the larger problem of hate crimes and analyses the constituent elements of the criminal offence of incitement to hatred, as recognised in Article 510 of the Criminal Code, following the 2015 reform. Based on their experience prosecuting and enforcing these kinds of offences and the recommendations laid down for Spain by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), the speakers drew a series of conclusions that may help identify and act in the face of this type of behaviour.