'Hate' is subjective: whether speech or crime

Dear Minister Goldsmith, 

'Hate' is an important term referencing a powerful emotion. Where individuals in our society are targets of hate, we must work to counter this hate and promote tolerance and inclusiveness. 

'Hate' is a powerful term, but an unavoidably subjective one; this is true whether it is used against word or action.

It is not the role of our criminal justice system or laws more generally to regulate this emotion. 

We have insisted that 'hate' speech laws would simply introduce a means to censor unpopular opinions. We applaud your decision to stop work on these proposals.  

'Hate' crime laws suffer from the same weaknesses and have no place in a liberal democracy that values freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the rule of law. 

Introducing 'hate' crime laws would see police and the judiciary tasked with deciding if one individual acted more criminally than another despite breaking the very same law, based on their motivations not their actions. 

We have no interest in defending criminal actions. If an individual breaks the law, they must be held accountable. But the law must apply impartially, regardless of who breaks it. There aren't 'right' reasons to break the law, or reasons that are 'more wrong' than others.

Breaking the law for 'hate' shouldn't stand alone as a category any more than breaking the law for 'love'. Who is impartial enough to determine objectively when either of these would apply? 

Keep our laws impartial, the rule of law strong, and our speech and consciences free. 

We call on Hon. Paul Goldsmith, the Minister of Justice, to reject all advice to develop 'hate' crime legislation that would introduce unacceptable subjectivity into our laws, and be used to target unpopular perspectives and unorthodox beliefs. 

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Showing 1385 reactions

  • Caleb McDonnell
    signed 2024-04-10 16:27:38 +1200
    Hating one thing simply means you love something else more. Does this mean that love will be outlawed as well? Sounds very 1984 to me.
  • Nicola Godfrey
    signed 2024-04-10 16:27:38 +1200
  • Brian Dunick
    signed 2024-04-10 16:27:33 +1200
    We must not allow this retrograde step. It will be too easy to slip more ambiguous laws in, once there is a avenue to do so!!
  • Terry Bradshaw
    signed 2024-04-10 16:26:57 +1200
  • Debra O'Donnell
    signed 2024-04-10 16:26:56 +1200
  • Carolyn Wright
    signed 2024-04-10 16:26:56 +1200
  • Carol Brooks
    signed 2024-04-10 16:26:53 +1200
  • Ralito Ceniza
    signed 2024-04-10 16:26:48 +1200
  • Peter Sigley
    signed 2024-04-10 16:26:44 +1200
  • Jim Mearns
    signed 2024-04-10 16:26:33 +1200
  • Peter McMillan
    signed 2024-04-10 16:26:29 +1200
  • Virginia Holden
    signed 2024-04-10 16:26:26 +1200
  • Lance Miller
    signed 2024-04-10 16:26:17 +1200
  • Allan Taylor
    signed 2024-04-10 16:26:07 +1200
  • Andrew Ragg
    signed 2024-04-10 16:25:50 +1200
  • Aaron Dixon
    signed 2024-04-10 16:25:44 +1200
  • Lois Allan
    signed 2024-04-10 16:25:42 +1200
  • Andy Gray
    signed 2024-04-10 16:25:21 +1200
    Sorry I’m not able to contribute to your fighting fund at this stage,, but you have my full support,,, I’m Scottish, and can’t believe what’s happening over there at the moment,,, definitely a different place from when I lived there,, quite sad really,,,,
  • Susan Moir
    signed 2024-04-10 16:24:52 +1200
  • Linde Rose
    signed 2024-04-10 16:24:34 +1200
  • Ken Moore
    signed 2024-04-10 16:24:28 +1200
  • Carolyn Eichler
    signed 2024-04-10 16:24:09 +1200
  • Shirley Blackburn
    signed 2024-04-10 16:23:44 +1200
    Scotland is a laughing stock with its new law..please don’t let that happen here!
  • Peter Blake
    signed 2024-04-10 16:23:28 +1200
  • Martin Paltridge
    signed 2024-04-10 16:23:23 +1200
  • Sam Hill
    signed 2024-04-10 16:22:37 +1200
  • Fred Fox
    signed 2024-04-10 16:22:23 +1200
  • sean kearney
    signed 2024-04-10 16:22:18 +1200
    Is this a new government or just the old one with new names and faces? I’m personally starting to have a hard time telling the difference. This is everything I voted against and will vote against again, only supporting party’s who categorically defend free speech and expression. No if’s but’s or maybe’s.
  • Robert Laroche
    signed 2024-04-10 16:22:16 +1200
  • Theresa Brady
    signed 2024-04-10 16:22:13 +1200
    Dont do this look at the disaster in Scotland. Hate is subjective.

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