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Militant Democracy on the Rise: Consequences of Legal Restrictions on Extreme Speech in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary

In: Review of Central and East European Law
Author: Max Steuer1
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The political discourse on regulation of extreme speech in Central Europe has shifted in favor of militant democracy, an approach which supports enhanced criminal law restrictions on speech. Developing the conceptual framework of the consequences of militant democracy and applying legal and parliamentary discourse analysis, this article shows whether and how the legal restrictions on extreme speech adopted in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary fulfilled the purpose for which they were adopted. The juxtaposition of justifications for restrictions and their application by judiciaries uncovers how extreme speech became normalized and appeared in more sophisticated forms due to the failure of legal militant democratic measures. Thus, it highlights how without reflecting the contextual specifics in the respective countries, restrictive legal regulation may not achieve the very purpose it was adopted for.

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