Our talk will present some preliminary findings from the 'Humour in Court’ project (funded by the Dutch Research Council with an NWO Vidi grant, 2022-2027). The project consists of an interdisciplinary analysis of 400+ humour-related cases from the European Court of Human Rights and domestic courts in France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Building on insights from linguistics, semiotics and literary theory, we aim to set the basis for a more consistent, fairer treatment of humorous material in courts of law, with special regard to cases revolving around freedom of expression and its limits. In addition to providing an overview of the project’s corpus and methodology, our presentation will offer concrete examples of how humanities-based research can help courts tackle the interpretive challenges posed by humour in free speech adjudication. Particular attention will be paid to the importance of contextual factors, and to theoretical issues concerning the 'reasonable reader' in humour-related jurisprudence.