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May 25, 2021 CBA-CRSJ Webinar Series

Confronting Hate Speech: A Canada-U.S. Dialogue

Canada and the United States have long wrestled with the volatile and divisive question of how to handle hate speech and hate crimes. The problem has come into sharp focus with recent  incidents of violence and hate speech against Asian Americans and Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Lives Matter protests over police conduct in both countries add to the focus, as do allegations that political leaders and media personalities in both countries during elections have incited hatred against racial and religious minorities. These events have fueled the public debate on the limits of freedom of expression regarding hate speech in both countries. This panel considers these important and timely questions during this CBA-ABA joint forum.


  • David Matas, Senior Legal Counsel, B’nai Brith Canada
  • Nadine Strossen, John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, Emerita, New York Law School; Former President, American Civil Liberties Union, 1991–2008


  • Errol P. Mendes, Full Professor, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law; President, International Commission of Jurists, Canada; Member-at-Large, CBA Constitutional and Human Rights Law Section
  • Stephen J. Wermiel, Professor of Practice of Law, American University Washington College of Law; Co-Chair, Free Speech and Free Press Committee, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Joint Sponsor: CBA Constitutional and Human Rights Law Section


Transcript: Confronting Hate Speech: A Canada-U.S. Dialogue

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