ESR7 Eva Nave

Leiden University
Supervised by Prof. Simone van der Hof, Prof. T.McGonagle
I research how to counter online hate speech whilsts adequately protecting fundamental rights.

Project Synopsis

Project title: Countering online hate speech — how to adequately protect fundamental rights?

Today, more than 4,5 billion people communicate through the Internet. Easy access, large audiences, anonymity and instantaneous publication of unfiltered contents all contribute to expeditious information spread and suggest new tools for large-scale influence. Online platforms have developed internal self-regulatory polices to counter hate speech and are regulating, presently, more speech content than any other system of governance since human rights law was created. Such private regulatory frameworks remain opaque, lack democratic enforcement and legal remedy mechanisms. At eLaw Leiden University, we will contribute to Work Package No 2 of the NETHATE project, which focuses on Technology and Social Media. This research aims at conducting a fundamental rights analysis on how online platforms counter hate speech through the deployment of digital technologies. More specifically, this work will seek to: 1) advance the legal conceptualisation of hate speech; 2) systematize legal obligations when regulating online hate speech; 3) propose and evaluate, from a human rights perspective, new mitigation and enforcement designs; and 4) study remedy mechanisms compliant with international human rights law.


  • ESR 7 (Eva Nave) Paper in progress: The main elements of the regulation of online hate speech under European human rights law
  • ESR 7 (Eva Nave) presented at the International Workshop “Hate Speech – an Interdisciplinary Approach”, organized by the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions at the University of Haifa in collaboration with Freie Universitat Berlin and Technischen Universitat Berlin (online, 17-19/01/2022)
  • ESR 7 (Eva Nave) presented at the workshop “Method, methodology and critique in international law”, organized by the Asser Institute Center for International and European Law (online, 15-16/12/2021)
  • ESR 7 (Eva Nave) Invited speaker in the Podcast series “Integrated Projects” created by students at the Leiden University’s Security Studies Bachelor’s degree, episode on “Hate speech, cyberbullying and doxing” (online, 2021)
  • ESR 7 (Eva Nave) presented at the Annual Conference/ Toogdag of the research programme “Effective Protection of Fundamental Rights in a pluralist word”, edition titled “Legal regimes and social divides – radicalization, discrimination and exclusion”, talk titled “Countering online hate speech – how to effectively protect fundamental rights?” (online, 20/05/2021)
  • ESR 7 (Eva Nave) presented at the Fourth Annual Conference/Toogdag of the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research (NNHRR) “Human Rights and Vulnerability”, participation in the panel on “Vulnerability and Human Rights in the Digital Age” convened by the NNHRR Human Rights in the Digital Age Working Group (online, 24/06/2021)


Eva Nave is a PhD candidate at the Center for Law and Digital Technologies (eLaw) at Leiden University. Her research focuses on countering hate speech through standardized regulation on online platforms. Eva obtained a LL.B. in Law at the Nova University of Lisbon, with one semester completed at LMU Munich, a Postgraduation in Human Rights at the Coimbra University, and a LL.M. in Public International Law at Leiden University. During her LL.M., she was part of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Clinic where she worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross to research compliance with IHL in modern warfare. Before joining eLaw, Eva worked with the United Nations Mine Action Service, where she contributed with legal research, policy and project advice on weapons control and conflict prevention in Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Colombia. Prior to that, she worked in the human rights field both with non-governmental organizations (such as Amnesty International, the Portuguese Refugee Council and the Portuguese Association for Victims Support) and with governmental bodies (the Boston Mayor’s Office for Immigrants Advancement). Eva was also a trainee at the Secretariat for the Committee on Constitutional Affairs at the European Parliament.