Counteracting hate speech and the right to freedom of expression in selected jurisdictions
The prevalent incidences of hate speech in selected jurisdictions such as Nigeria, Kenya, Japan and the United States of America and the assertion of the encroachment on the freedom of expression by those alleged to have uttered such speech form the fulcrum of this paper. The doctrinal approach is employed in the use of judicial authorities, statutes, textbooks, articles, sources from the internet and some international conventions relating to this subject matter. Hate speech does exist and freedom of expression may sometimes be curtailed whenever there is an occurrence of the uttering of hate speech whether verbally or in print that might endanger public safety, unity and national security. Legislation should be passed and prosecutions initiated and pursued against suspects irrespective of their status. Proactive public enlightenment should be embarked on by the governmental bodies saddled with this responsibility in partnership with the media to curb incidences of hate speech as it is a recipe for violence and anarchy.
Key words: Hate Speech, Freedom of Expression, Violence, States