Hate Crimes, Social Media and Criminal Law. Hints on the Recent Italian Legislative Proposal Against Incitement to Discrimination and Hate

Luciana Goisis

Professoressa Associata di Diritto Penale, Università di Sassari

(Contributo pubblicato online first)

Abstract

The essay thematizes the category of hate crimes, to which, beyond racial and religious hate crimes, homotransphobic, gender-based and disability-based hate crimes are also ascribed, as shown by the comparative perspective. Dealing deeply with the criminological profiles with particular reference to the relationship between hate crimes and hate speeches and the reality of social media, the essay develops some reflections on the recent Italian legislative proposal, approved in the Chamber, aimed at amending Articles 604-bis and ter of the Criminal Code, on violence or discrimination on grounds of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The reform introduces measures to prevent and combat these forms of discrimination, alongside the measures already envisaged for racial, ethnic and religious discrimination, and is aimed at combating two similar phenomena such as homophobia and misogyny (or rather sexism), phenomena no longer acceptable for modern societies, nor for contemporary criminal law, as well as to complete the frame of protection of disabled persons. The essay concludes wondering about the effectiveness of the reform with regard to online hate crimes.

Il saggio tematizza la categoria dei crimini d’odio, alla quale vanno ascritti, oltre ai crimini d’odio razziale e religioso, anche i crimini d’odio omotransfobico, di genere e per disabilità, come dimostra la prospettiva comparata. Svolta una attenta analisi dei profili criminologici con particolare riferimento al rapporto fra crimini nonché discorsi d’odio e realtà dei social media, il saggio sviluppa alcune riflessioni sulla recente proposta di riforma legislativa italiana, attualmente approvata alla Camera, volta a modificare gli artt. 604-bis e ter c.p., in materia di violenza o discriminazione per motivi di sesso, di genere, di orientamento sessuale, di identità di genere o per disabilità. La novella introduce misure di prevenzione e di contrasto a tali forme di discriminazione, accanto alle misure già previste per le discriminazioni razziali, etniche e religiose, ed è finalizzata a combattere due fenomeni assimilabili quali l’omofobia e la misoginia (o meglio il sessismo), fenomeni non più accettabili per le società moderne, così come per il diritto penale contemporaneo, nonché a completare il quadro di tutela dei soggetti disabili. Il saggio si conclude interrogandosi sull’effettività della riforma rispetto ai crimini d’odio in rete.

Sommario

1. Premise. – 2. The criminological perspective. Hate crimes, hate speeches and social media. – 3. The Italian legislative panorama. – 4. The recent bill approved in the Italian Chamber of Deputies: a needed reform. – 5. Conclusion. A useful discipline also for online hate crimes?

Le persone omosessuali e transgender in carcere e il tempo immobile del Covid19

Fabio Gianfilippi

Magistrato, Ufficio di Sorveglianza di Spoleto

(Contributo pubblicato online first)

Abstract

Il contributo analizza la condizione delle persone omosessuali e transgender nel sistema penitenziario italiano, anche alla luce delle tutele antidiscrimnatorie introdotte in questa materia in sede di riforma dell’ordinamento penitenziario nell’anno 2018 e già oggetto di alcune prime pronunce giurisdizionali, interrogandosi sulla difficile stagione del carcere chiuso durante l’ormai lungo tempo dell’emergenza sanitaria da COVID19 e sulle ricadute sulla quotidianità penitenziaria per le persone LGBT+ detenute nelle sezioni separate istituite per la loro protezione.

The paper illustrates the condition of homosexual and transgender inmates in the Italian penitentiary system, against the backdrop of the relevant anti-discrimination provisions introduced in 2018 – that have already been reviewed in some case law – and taking into account both the difficulties caused by the closed prison regime throughout the long-lasting COVID-19 related health emergency and its effects on the daily penitentiary life for LGBT+ persons that are detained in separate sections established for their protection.

Sommario

1. Introduzione – 2. La separazione imposta e le circolari dell’amministrazione – 3. La stagione degli Stati Generali e le soluzioni normative adottate con il d.lgs. 123/2018 – 4. Le prime pronunce della magistratura di sorveglianza – 5. Il carcere chiuso del tempo della pandemia – 6. Prospettive.

Freedom and responsibility of women, between patriarchy and neoliberalism

Orsetta Giolo

Professoressa associata di Filosofia del diritto, Università di Ferrara

(Contributo pubblicato online first)

Abstract

The objective of this analysis is to try to understand what relationship presently exists between gendered conceptions of responsibility and women’s freedom, neoliberal hyper-responsibilisation and the rhetoric of care mainstreaming. In the following pages I shall try to reflect on the consequences of the neoliberal subjectivity in a feminist perspective, focusing above all on the impact that the transformations of responsibility and freedom produce on the life of women, as well as on their legal and political condition.

Il saggio propone un’analisi della relazione attualmente esistente tra le concezioni genderizzate della responsabilità e della libertà delle donne, l’iper-responsabilizzazione neoliberale e la retorica del care mainstreaming. Indagando nella prospettiva femminista le conseguenze della soggettività neoliberale, particolare attenzione è dedicate all’impatto che le trasformazioni in corso della responsabilità e della libertà producono sulla vita delle donne, nonché sulla loro condizione giuridica e politica.

Sommario

1. The pandemic and care mainstreaming. – 2. Freedom (still) misunderstood. The time of feminism and the time of rights. – 2.1. Freedom between responsibility and care. – 3. Female responsibility in the patriarchal vision. – 3.1. The specific forms of women’s responsibility. – 4. Female responsibility: responsibility without freedom. – 5. Two responsibilities for two genders: (male) law and its implicit assumptions. – 6. Responsibility in the neoliberal perspective: hyper-responsibilisation or feminisation? – 7. Equality as the key: rethinking freedom and responsibility.

The more things change, the more they stay the same: On the epistemology of queer critique

Mariano Croce

Professore associato di Filosofia del Diritto, Sapienza Università di Roma

(Contributo pubblicato online first)

Abstract

This article takes issue with the criticism against those that I call “sinister accounts”, that is, analyses contesting pieces of legislation, policy measures and judicial decisions that are generally considered as steps towards a more equal and free society. According to some scholars, such a radical, hypercritical attitude, typical of many queer critiques, tends to produce pedantic and dismissive readings of political and legal advancements and thus fails to capitalize on the limited resources of Western liberal democracies. Even more importantly, from a social-theoretical perspective, sinister accounts are charged with draining social agents of any autonomy and self-awareness in that they are described as unconsciously complying with invisible hegemonic forces. With reference to accounts of the detrimental effects of non-conventional relationship recognition and in the light of a particular notion of the work of concepts in social life, I try to rebut this criticism by showing that sinister accounts contribute to opening fissures into the vision of social agents in order for the latter to (re)discover the silenced alternatives that various processes of normalization and naturalization inevitably conceal.

Sommario

1. Introduction – 2. One step forward, two steps back? – 3. Agents’s social Incompetence vs theorists’ hubris – 4. Reorienting critical attitudes – 5. Following oscillations – 6. Unexpectedly hopeful

Online Misogyny as a Hate Crime: An Obstacle to Equality?

Kim Barker, Olga Jurasz

Senior Lecturers in Law, Open University Law School (UK)

(Contributo pubblicato online first)

Abstract

Campaigns to make misogyny a hate crime are prevalent, but such claims confuse the situation, and detract from the core issues. Suggestions that misogyny and hate are interchangeable are unhelpful, and such suggestions miss the nuance and holistic understanding that this area of law requires. To suggest that misogyny be a hate crime misrepresents the challenges of misogyny and misogynistic prejudice. As such, this paper outlines the challenge posed by misogyny online, and argues that it poses a significant participatory challenge for life in a digital society and represents a significant obstacle to equality. In making this argument, the impact of online misogyny is given unique consideration, situating misogyny within the gender equality framework.

Sommario

1. Introduction; 2. The Online Phenomenon of Abuse: Misogyny in the Making; 3. The Misogynistic Hate Paradox: A Conceptual Misdirection; 4. Gender Equality and Discrimination – Where is the (Online) Harm? 5. The Platform Problem: Better Regulation, not More; 6. Responses to Online Misogyny: Hope, not Hate? 7. Conclusion – Squaring the Equality Circle?