The Minns Labor Government is strengthening the law to further protect people from threats and incitement of violence based on their race, religion, or other attributes.
The NSW Government is introducing a bill today to improve the prosecution process for the offence of publicly threatening or inciting violence against a person or group based
on their race, religion, or other attributes.
Section 93Z of the Crimes Act 1900 makes it an offence for a person to, by a public act, intentionally or recklessly threaten or incite violence towards another person or group of people because of their race, religious belief or affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, or because that person is living with HIV/AIDS.
Currently, subsection 93Z(4) of the Crimes Act 1900 provides that a prosecution under section 93Z requires approval from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) before it can proceed.
Concerns have recently been raised in relation to subsection 93Z(4), and the time it takes to refer matters to the DPP and obtain approval to prosecute may act as a disincentive to laying appropriate charges.
The proposed change will enable NSW Police to prosecute people who offend against section 93Z without the approval of the DPP.
Removing the DPP approval requirement will make this offence consistent with the overwhelming majority of other offences in New South Wales.
When committed by an individual, the offence is punishable by a fine of up to $11,000, up to three years’ imprisonment, or both. In the case of a corporation, the crime is punishable with a fine of up to $55,000.
Premier of NSW Chris Minns said:
“NSW is the most successful multicultural state in the world, but our community cannot take that for granted.
“If you’re going to have a law on the books saying threats and incitement of violence are not allowed in NSW, then it needs to have teeth.
“There is no room for threats and incitement of violence in NSW.”
NSW Attorney General Michael Daley said:
“NSW is a diverse, vibrant and successful multicultural and multifaith community. Our values of respect, tolerance and inclusivity enrich us all.
“We are for the most part a harmonious society, and we all want to remain that way.
“Hate speech that incites violence or threatens violence based on a person’s race or religion, or their sexual orientation or gender identity are completely unacceptable in our community. We want to ensure offences of this type can be prosecuted in a timely and efficient manner to ensure community safety.”