Hate speech is a modern concept which appeared only a couple of decades ago. Experts from various scientific fields have yet to provide us with a common definition; moreover, the legal aspect of hate speech also has not been unified yet, neither in theory nor in practice.
In the first part, the author therefore gives an overview of current norms, evaluates hate speech from a legal point of view, and extracts its fundamental elements. In the second, central part the latter serve as the basis for the analysis of chosen legal constructs from legal history: prohibition of discrimination against foreigners, widows and orphans in the Law of Moses, Roman iniuria, collective insult in medieval vineyard hills law (Bergrecht), regulation of hate campaign in the USA in 20th century, and hate crime on grounds of race and nationality in the Soviet Union and the Yugoslavia after the Second World War.
The objective of this master's thesis was to establish whether legal history can provide us with legal constructs which are substantively, at least in some elements, comparable with the modern legal understanding of hate speech. The author concludes that it is indeed possible to draw parallels between specific legal constructs in almost all periods of history; however, one must keep the right amount of critical distance and take into consideration respective historical circumstances.