Seminar on “Cybercrime - Hate Speech on the Internet”

Seminar on “Cybercrime – Hate Speech on the Internet” in cooperation with the Albanian School of Magistrates on 18-19 May 2023.
Seminar on “Cybercrime – Hate Speech on the Internet” in cooperation with the Albanian School of Magistrates on 18-19 May 2023.

The IRZ organised a seminar on 18-19 May 2023 on “Cybercrime” in cooperation with the Albanian School of Magistrates. The event built on previous discussions, and explored the adaptation of the Albanian legal system to the Budapest Convention on Computer Crime. The focus here was on the issue of hostility towards people relating to their origin, sexual orientation and physical and/or psychological limitations. The spread of religious extremism and Holocaust or genocide denials were also addressed. 

The IRZ invited Mr. Frank-Michael Laue, Senior Public Prosecutor from the Central Office for Combating Hate Crime on the Internet / Lower Saxony (ZHIN), to present the German and European legal framework. 

The main discussion topics included:

  • Crime phenomenon of hate crime on the Internet
  • Budapest Convention on Computer Crime
  • Substantive-legal norms and legislative changes to combat hate crime through criminal law in Albania and Germany
  • Approach of German law enforcement authorities in combating hate speech on the Internet
  • Criminal investigation measures and relevant criminal procedural regulations in Albania and Germany
  • Presentation of the reporting channels to the criminal prosecution authorities in Germany
  • Securing and using electronic evidence

The topics in the German-Albanian legal comparison were presented with the Albanian speakers, Ms. Denisa Asko (Public Prosecutor, Tirana Public Prosecutor's Office) and Mr. Edmond Koloshi (Public Prosecutor, Durres Public Prosecutor's Office), to provide the 18 judges and public prosecutors attending with starting points for questions and discussions.

While the Albanian contingent explained during their lectures that hate speech on the Internet is not generally liable for prosecution, Mr. Laue made it clear that a precedent was also required in Germany to enable the authorities to take more vehement action against such crimes: e.g. the murder of the Kassel District President, Walter Lübcke, in 2019. These events led, among others, to some federal states setting up specialist Public Prosecutor's Offices to combat hate crime on the Internet, and Mr. Laue reported on the structure and approach of such offices using the example of the Central Office in Lower Saxony.

The event was funded by the Federal Ministry of Justice and follows on from years of intensive cooperation with the School of Magistrates, which promotes the training and further education of the Albanian judiciary and Public Prosecutor's Office.