The State can’t just rely on legislation to combat hate speech, claims Irish Council for Civil Liberties – – Our News, Your Views

The State can’t just rely on legislation to combat hate speech, claims Irish Council for Civil Liberties

According to the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), the state cannot rely too heavily on proposed legislation to combat hate speech, which needs to address the roots of hate at a societal level.

ICCL’s head of law and policy, Doireann Ansbro, told that while the group generally welcomes the proposals in the Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hate and Hate Crimes) Bill 2022, which is currently being passed by the Senate Community.

Last month, by the way, there were elements that the Council would like to see clarified or changed.

If the law were to come into force it would create, for the first time, a hate crime under Irish law, designed to protect against hate acts based on ten protected characteristics including race, religion and sexual orientation, while also updating our current legislation. Laws of incitement to hatred.

“The hate element in a crime gets lost as the crime is prosecuted and goes through the criminal justice system. ltimately a hate crime is targeted, not just at an individual but at an entire community, and we recognise that it causes additional harm, so we do think that having the option of having an aggravated sentence for a crime that is motivated by hate is a positive thing,” she said, reports Breaking News.

Ms Ansbro said education, public awareness and training for public sector workers could reduce incidents of hate crimes and better support for victims, including improved reporting mechanisms, could help those affected by the trauma of these events.

“We can’t over rely on a piece of legislation that is only designed to tackle the most extreme forms of hate speech. We need to actually tackle the roots of hate if we want to see a reduction in hate incidence across society,” she added, reports Breaking News.

While acknowledging that she understands the likely mindset behind this inclusion, she cautioned that people who have a platform, if they’re inciting hate, are more likely to be a “dangerous impact if they are inciting hatred”, reports Breaking News.

She said there must be no protections for sections of the population, adding that stronger universal protections for free speech would correct this discrepancy and not just target the “very top of the hate-speech pyramid”.

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