NICRE BRIEFING PAPER THE REFORM OF HATE CRIME LAW IN NI: PART II – HATE SPEECH & PUBLIC ORDER OFFENCES
September 19, 2019
- In Part I we outline the proposed basic hate crime offences (paragraph 4.1) which mirrors section 28-32 of the racial and religious aggravated offences of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to form our new Hate Crime law in Northern Ireland by amending section 28(1)(b) with extended grounds (characteristics) under the Group Selection Model of “by reason” test which aims to have more conviction on hate crime in Northern Ireland on one hand, to end the legal confusion in sentencing under section 145 & 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 in England and Wales, our equivalent Criminal Justice (No. 2) (NI) Order 2004, as well as accommodates some new grounds (characteristics) such as disability, age and sexual orientation on their vulnerability without hostility scenario on the others.
- This approach will deviate from the current hate crime law in England and Wales as well as in Scotland. In our view, it is justifiable in viewing the harms towards the victim, her/his family members, friends and workmates, as well her/his perceived community and above all the harms to the society in terms of discrimination, integration and inequality that based on human rights and equality for all under the Good Friday Agreement. This approach demonstrates a clear message to our society: Hate Crime, in its various forms, is unacceptable behaviour in our society that needs to have severe sanctions. Although we are now on the way to move to the “No-Deal” chaotic scenario, our fight against Brexit is to protect the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement and the related rights as well as the current legal protection under the EU law, particularly the Charter of Fundamental Rights through the backstop insurance policy in which the island of Ireland is to be treated as part of the custom and the Single Market of the European Union.
The Reform of Hate Crime Law in NI – Part II