The Division of Case-law and Research of the Supreme Court has compiled a summary of hate speech and freedom of expression in criminal law. The summary reviews the international legal framework for the protection of freedom of expression and the practice of the European Court of Human Rights in this matter. In addition, the case-law of the Latvian courts on hate speech in criminal cases, in which the rulings have come into force from October 2012 to May 2018, is also indicated.

The choice of freedom of speech as the central theme for the 2018 compilation is explained by the fact that all criminal cases adjudicated during the respective period are related to statements made by persons. Therefore, the application of the standard of protection of the right to freedom of expression in Latvian case-law is a topical issue.

The summary 2012 "Case-law in criminal cases about provoking of national, ethnical and racial hatred" is also available on the website of the Supreme Court. It provides an overview of regulations and definitions of international law regarding hate crime and hate speech. The summary of 2012 also discusses the object, the objective side, the subject, the subjective side of hate crime and hate speech within the meaning of the Criminal Law.


Summary “Hate speech and freedom of expression (Case-law in criminal law on Sections 741, 78, 150 of the Criminal Law)” is available on the webpage of the Supreme Court in section Judicature/ Compilations of Court Decisions/ Criminal law


Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail:, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 2865221