Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: On the possibility of laws further regulating hate speech

7 Responses

  • WH,

    There's an authoritarian aspect to these kinds of proposals that we need to be really careful about.

    As you've alluded to, hate speech laws are part of a toolkit that is used by social activists to manipulate public opinion. Their campaigns are coordinated with the media and often fail to properly represent the views of the community.

    Suffice to say, not all of the tools available for influencing other people's behaviour are consistent with the structure of our legal system.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong,

    What new hate speech law??? For the love of logical and intelligent debate a little context wouldn’t go amiss.

    New Zealand is racist as fuck – Taika Waititi.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Some further reading:
    The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President: How new technologies and techniques pioneered by dictators will shape the 2020 election

    In the words of Neil Postman from "Amusing Ourselves to Death":

    What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Recent events suggest we also need a SLAPP law, so that rich racists can't punish people by dragging them through the courts. Or at least if the cost of doing that and losing was having to pay not just the defence costs, but damages as well, a large part of the point of those actions would go away. But those laws are pretty hard to balance, IMO, especially since they're some of the few civil laws explicitly designed to be used by the poor and powerless.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Tim McKenzie,

    But the same law has also been used to convict someone for saying a war commemoration should commemorate the dead on both sides of the conflict and not just our dead

    Wait, what? Where can I read more about this? Did the conviction rely on the wording or context, or was the mere suggestion illegal? Criminally illegal?

    Lower Hutt • Since Apr 2007 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Many disabled people are the targets of hate speech and such attitudes sometimes result in violent attacks. The hate speech is directed at them specifically because of their impairment. I would like to see disability hate speech laws, as well as education on ableism.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    There are restrictions on disorderly and offensive behaviour and language in the Summary Offences Act 1981. These provisions cover many of the everyday scenarios that people would expect to be covered by a hate speech law.

    This proposal poses a threat to New Zealanders' basic rights and freedoms.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

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