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The Proposed Reform Of New Zealand’s Criminal Hate Speech Law

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dc.contributor.author Shirtcliffe, George Miro
dc.date.accessioned 2023-05-17T21:46:49Z
dc.date.available 2023-05-17T21:46:49Z
dc.date.copyright 2022
dc.date.issued 2022
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/30741
dc.description.abstract This paper discusses the Labour Government’s 2021 proposal to replace s 131 of the Human Rights Act 1993, New Zealand’s current criminal hate speech law, with a new provision in the Crimes Act 1961. The central aim of this paper is to determine whether the provision correctly addresses hate speech. This paper analyses hate speech and whether its harm justifies legislating against it. It agrees the harm it produces is tangible and an increasing issue in New Zealand, indicating s 131 is inadequate. Hate speech laws infringe upon freedom of expression, a justifiably important right protected by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. However, s 5 allows for “demonstrably justified” limitations upon it. To achieve this, the proposed provision must be narrowly worded to ensure it is a minimal infringement upon the right. The difficulty in distinguishing insulting communications from hate speech makes this increasingly necessary. Against this normative background, the paper examines the proposal. It agrees that the proposal’s placement in the Crimes Act will better signal the unacceptability and real harm of hate speech. Allowing the communication to be made by any means is the most justified change, as it addresses the rapid increase in online hate speech. The proposal’s use of “hatred” reflects foreign hate speech legislation and international obligations; however, it must be clearly defined to ensure a narrow application. This paper argues the omission of the “likely to” result element is unjustified, as it removes an important safeguard against an unintentionally wide application. It concludes the proposal has merit but requires more work to develop a narrow offence that presents a demonstrably justified limitation upon freedom of expression. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Hate speech en_NZ
dc.subject Harm of hate speech en_NZ
dc.subject Freedom of expression en_NZ
dc.subject Section 131 Human Rights Act 1993 en_NZ
dc.title The Proposed Reform Of New Zealand’s Criminal Hate Speech Law en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit Victoria Law School en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit Faculty of Law / Te Kauhanganui Tātai Ture en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Bachelors Research Paper or Project en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline Law en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Bachelor of Laws en_NZ
dc.subject.course LAWS489 en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcforV2 489999 Other law and legal studies not elsewhere classified en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.school School of Law en_NZ

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