Secord: not one person has been prosecuted under NSW racial anti-vilification laws

March 13, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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NSWAttorney-General Mark Speakman has admitted that there have been no prosecutions under section 93Z of the Crimes Act which deals with racial and religious vilification.

Walt Secord

Speakman’s admission came during NSW Parliament questioning at Budget Estimates.

The NSW Shadow Treasurer and Deputy Chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel, Walt Secord said: “This is the latest evidence that the State’s racial vilification laws are not working and need to be fixed.”

The Liberals and Nationals did not want to introduce this new section and only did so in 2018 after pressure from many multicultural and religious communities because their existing laws were not strong enough.

Now Mr Speakman has revealed that his Government has done nothing to enforce these new laws.”

Mr Secord described the failure to prosecute as a “betrayal” of those who fought a heartfelt campaign to improve the laws – including the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff.

Secord added: “It is mindboggling that not a single person has been charged with an offence under the act since these laws were passed.

This is about protecting the most vulnerable in the community.”

Mr Secord said the failure to act was a rebuff for those who worked so hard to improve the religious vilification laws saying “the Liberals and Nationals promised community leaders that the laws would have teeth and that they would be enforced. Today, we see otherwise”.

Mr Secord pointed to the Keep NSW Safe, a coalition of 35 religious and cultural groups, and several high-profile individuals, who campaigned to have the NSW State Government legislate against incitement to violence on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexuality and various other categories.

Under the leadership of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the coalition was launched at a press conference in the NSW State Parliament in August 2016 to highlight the failure of Section 20d of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act to take action against the above offences.

The trigger was a speech by the spiritual leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir on the streets of Sydney, calling for death to the Jews. NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff served as the spokesperson for the campaign.

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