Brooklyn Journal of International Law


Jamie Rauch

First Page



Confronted every day with drastically increasing accounts of hate crimes and hate speech, nations’ legislators have routinely tried and subsequently failed to implement effective legislation capable of curbing the hatred epidemic currently sweeping the globe. This failure is due in large part to the lack of a universal stance on hate crime regulation and criminalization. Two countries in particular, the United States and Germany, embody two diametrically opposing approaches taken by nations in the present-day war on hate speech. This Note explores the dramatic dichotomy between the legislative framework surrounding the regulation of hate speech in these two countries. This Note then contrasts the incontrovertible First Amendment implications for the U.S., against Germany’s absolute legal commitment to the preservation of human dignity following WWII, ultimately finding that neither has successfully advanced a solution to the ongoing global war on hate speech. By touching upon each country’s relevant history and the myriad failed attempts to enact laws with sufficient protection, this Note seeks to show how neither extreme is has been victorious in combatting hate crimes within its borders. This Note concludes by proposing a multi-factor approach, with nods to education, historical relevance, and narrowly tailored laws, in order to finally achieve adequate protection against hate crimes without infringing on individual rights.