LGBTI hate crimes: a path towards equality : the urgency of a criminal legal framework at the European Union level

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Soares, Sara : Pereira de Matos
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This thesis deals with LGBTI hate crimes and hate speech, which are criminal offenses committed against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. The fact that both concepts are ambiguous and do not have a comprehensive and consensual definition among the international community, giving them a legal significance is considered a complicated task. As such, their definitions and the way they are perceived vary from country to country, depending on the domestic legislations, contributing even more to the already existing ambiguity. The purpose of this research is to draw attention for the urgent need of adoption of a criminal legal instrument at the level of the European Union Law, in order for the same criminal behavior to be considered an offense in all Member States, finding a harmonization of the criminal laws of all countries in what concerns LGBTI hate crimes. This thesis will argue for widening the scope of application of already existing criminal instruments or the creation of a new one, in a way that creates an obligation for all Member States at the same level. The main conclusions to be drawn are that the lack of available data on LGBTI hate crimes across the region is due to the lack of such instrument, creating problems at the level of reporting the crimes and addressing them in a proper manner, considering the motivation. In addition, another goal of this thesis is to conclude that developments at the legislative level are not enough and there is much more to be done regarding a more practical approach. Key words: sexual orientation, gender identity, hate crimes, hate speech, European Union Law, reporting
Second semester University: University of Ljubljana
gender identity, sexual orientation, gender discrimination, European Union, hate crimes