Possible three year sentence for inciting racist violence

June 5, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman has flagged new legislation to be introduced to counter violence and threatening behaviour.

Mark Speakman

Individuals who incite or threaten violence against people based on their race, religion or sexuality will risk a three-year jail sentence under new laws to be introduced into NSW Parliament, Attorney General Mark Speakman announced today.

Mr Speakman said the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has listened to the community and is acting to replace provisions in the Anti-Discrimination Act that have proven ineffective, allowing some people to escape punishment for vile acts that encourage violence.

“People who incite violence are a threat to community safety. If passed, these laws will help protect individuals and groups from being targeted by cowards who seek to cause physical harm to innocent people,” Mr Speakman said.

“We’re not saying people can’t have opinions or express their views, but if they cross the line into threatening and inciting violence they will not go unpunished”.

The legislation will create a new offence in the Crimes Act of publicly threatening or inciting violence against people on the grounds of race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex or HIV/AIDS status, including a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a fine of $11,000.

The Bill will abolish offences in the Anti-Discrimination Act that presently carry a maximum sentence of six months in prison.

“The new laws will send a very clear message to offenders that we will not tolerate behaviour which risks people’s safety simply because they belong to a particular group,” said Mr Speakman.

“In 1989, the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government was the first in Australia to introduce legislation to help protect historically targeted communities from harm. Today we’re acting again to strengthen the law and support people to go about their lives without fearing for their safety just because of who they are or what they believe,” said Mr Speakman.

“Our new laws will boost police powers allowing them to target offenders and better protect a broader range of people, including those belonging to religious groups,” Mr Speakman said.  

Mr Speakman thanked the Keep NSW Safe Coalition, religious leaders and other groups for their helpful feedback on the topic, which was considered in the 2013 Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice Inquiry into racial vilification law in NSW and Stepan Kerkyasharian’s 2017 Report on consultation on serious vilification laws in NSW.

Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams has welcomed the announcement that the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will repeal ineffective sections of the Anti-Discrimination Act and replace them with a single offence under the Crimes Act. 

He stated: “The new laws will protect our diverse communities from individuals who incite or threaten violence against people based on their race or religion and will carry a maximum three-year jail sentence.  

Our community harmony cannot be taken for granted, which is why the NSW Government is looking to strengthen its laws to protect our diverse communities.

The new laws send a very clear message to offenders that we will not tolerate behaviour which risks people’s safety”, Mr Williams said. 

 The new laws will boost police powers allowing them to target offenders and protect those belonging to religious groups.” 

The legislation will create a new offence in the Crimes Act of publicly threatening or inciting violence against people on the grounds of race or religious affiliation, including a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a fine of $11,000.

Keep NSW Safe – an alliance of 31 community organisations and leaders, representing hundreds of thousands of Australians – campaigned for three years to bring about this change.

Keep NSW Safe spokesperson Vic Alhadeff commented: “We commend the Premier, the Attorney General and the NSW Government for acknowledging the need to reform the law concerning incitement to violence and preparing this Bill.

“Preventing incitement to violence is not about curbing free speech, but about public safety. That’s what motivated thousands of Australians to unite on this issue under the Keep NSW Safe banner, and the government deserves credit for responding to their concerns and  taking this most important step.”

The co-CEO of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Peter Wertheim said: “Individuals who incite or threaten violence against people based on their race, religion or sexuality will risk a three-year jail sentence under new laws to be introduced into NSW Parliament, Attorney General Mark Speakman announced today.”

Comments

One Response to “Possible three year sentence for inciting racist violence”
  1. Daniel Jones says:

    It left out “Profession” Imagine being a Taxi driver. You are at the end of your 12 hour shift and are tired. You pick up a male and female who appear to have had more than a couple of drinks. They get in and state where they want to go. You do not talk to them as it’s just another job and want to get it over so you can finish for the day at midnight. At the very end of the fare the male passenger starts abusing you about your driving. Telling you it sucks and should go back to driving school. Even though you have been driving for a living over 25 years. You are not responsible for the poor roads in your town and are not speeding. As you are about to pull up at their destination the male throws payment at you instead of handing it to you. Then proceeds to get out and says he is going to throw a coin at you. They still owe you money. You get panic even though you don’t know whether or not he is going to throw a coin at you. But experience has made you cautious. You get out of the taxi and walk to the back and tell the male not to throw money at you. Next thing you know the female is videoing you and states “This taxi driver wants to fight my husband” The next day they take the video to the police station and claim they were the victim and it was unprovoked. The video is half the story. What do you do?

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