Freedom of expression as the cornerstone of the Democratic State is currently in the eye of the storm. Racist, xenophobic or sexist hate speech and discourse against religious beliefs or the political adversary –the enemy– are heating up. The democratic game and the conquest of rights themselves seem to be at risk. In this dangerous scenario of extreme political forces, the space for a free public discussion seems to be narrowing down. Which are the permissible limits? When should discourse be banned? To what extent should it be tolerated or protected? This 2nd International Congress on Human Rights (Bilbao, 18-20 November) aims to reflect on the challenges facing freedom of expression, its current diagnosis, the threats hanging over it, and also about the potential of free speech as the backbone of the rule of law.