Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Needless complexity

I've mostly stayed out of the whole Ezra/Hate-Speech/Free-speech debate. While I had a general sense of where I stood, I had a hard time nailing the specifics of my opinion.

In due time, someone much smarter than me, once again explains my position for me.

To wit I support the motion to repeal Section 13 of the Human Rights Act.

Hate messages

13. (1) It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.


Which would mean removing section 319(2) from the criminal code.
Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Because I agree section 319(1) does the trick.

Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


It keeps things simple, so that lay-men such as myself actually understand the law as intended. Section 13 of the Human Rights Act is too vague, and undefined.

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