GoJIL Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
Soft Authority Against Hard Cases of Racially Discriminating Speech: Why the CERD Committee Needs a Margin of Appreciation Doctrine
Matthias Goldmann & Mona Sonnen
This article argues that the Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD Committee), as it exercises quasi-judicial authority, should consider applying standards of reasoning similar to those of international courts. In particular, with respect to racially discriminating speech, the legitimacy of the CERD Committee’s Communications would benefit from a margin of appreciation doctrine that leaves domestic authorities greater leeway in finding their strategy to counter the threat of anti-migrant popular sentiment and gives recognition to alternative approaches beyond criminal persecution. This allows a context sensitive approach that might do justice to both the freedom of expression and the need for a more effective protection against racially discriminating speech.
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