NSW new anti-hatred laws

June 12, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Premier of NSW Gladys Berejiklian has told J-Wire that the government has listened to the community before introducing new laws prohibiting threats or incitement of violence against any person on the grounds of race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex or HIV/AIDS status.

Gladys Berejiklian

The Premier writes: “It was the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government in 1989 that was the first government in Australia to introduce laws ti support targeted individuals and groups. Now, we have acted again to strengthen those laws to stamp out the threat or incitement of violence to enhance community safety.

These landmark reforms, contained in the Crimes Amendment (Publicly Threatening and Inciting Violence) Bill 2018 create a new offence in the Crimes 1900 which will replace and improve existing offences contained in the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977. The new offence will be punishable by up to thee years  imprisonment – an increase from the current maximum term of six months – and an $11,000 fine or $55,000 in the case of a corporation.

We have listened carefully to the community on this issue. In fact, these reforms follow careful consideration of the Legislative Council Standing  Committee on Law and Justice’s report Racial vilification in New South Wales,  the Report on consultation on serious vilification in NSW by Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian AO and extensive stakeholder consultation.

This extensive consultation has helped us strike the right balance between freedom of speech and community safety. Of course, freedom of speech is a cornerstone of our free and open community but it should not be used as a shield for those who cross the line by threatening or inciting violence against others.

Every person in our community should be able go about they lives without fear of violence because of who they are, or what they believe.

The NSW Liberals and National Government will not tolerate the threat or incitement of violence against others, and will continue to protect our diverse and vibrant community.”

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