A Linguistic Look at Liberty’s Gag: Vagueness in Spain’s Ley Mordaza

Jacob Shelton

Name: Jacob Shelton
Majors: History, Spanish
Advisors: Osmer Balam, Katherine Holt

This study analyzes the Spanish law of Public Security of 2015 to verify the concerns of several democratic commissions, human rights organizations, and journalists that the law unjustly restricts the civil liberties of the Spanish public. Specifically, this study aims to quantify how this piece of legislation can be misinterpreted and misapplied in penal cases to the detriment of the freedom of speech. To achieve this, a critical discourse analysis of the legislation was carried out to identify key words tied to the base jurisprudential concepts of the law, namely, public security and public order. Contextualized with the recommendations made by other organizations such as the Venice Commission sponsored by the European Union and other independent bodies, this research reveals significant inefficacies in the structure of the law and its application.

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Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022 on April 26, 2022.

One response to “A Linguistic Look at Liberty’s Gag: Vagueness in Spain’s Ley Mordaza”

  1. Emily Davis '20 says:

    Very cool IS Jacob! What would you prescribe human rights activists and those affected by the misinterpretation of this law to do?

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