New NSW laws to prevent incitement of violence

New laws prohiting the threat or incitement of violence against any person on the grounds of race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex or HIV/AIDS status came into effect in NSW this month.

The Crimes Amendment (Publicly Threatening and Inciting Violence) Bill 2018 creates a new offence in the Crimes Act 1900, which replaces and improves on existing offences contained in the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977.

The new offence will be punishable by up to three 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. 

The landmark reforms were first introduced in the Legislative Assembly by Attorney General Mark Speakman on 5 June 2018, on behalf of the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government.

“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,” Mr Speakman said. 

The new measures were informed by the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice's report, Racial Vilification Law in New South Wales, the Report on consultation on serious vilification Laws in NSW, and extensive stakeholder consultation. 

RLC welcomes the strengthening of laws to prevent threats or incitement of violence against others, which is totally at odds with an individual's right to free speech. We strongly support the Government’s stance that every person in our community should be able to go about their lives without fear of violence because of who they are, or what they believe. 

Further info

New laws to target incitment of violence (Attourney General Mark Speakman, NSW Government Media release, 5 June 2018)