21 May, 2024
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Review of State’s laws on threats and incitement to violence


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The NSW Government has today announced that former Chief Justice of the NSW Supreme Court, the Honourable Tom Bathurst AC KC will conduct a review of state laws regulating incitement to violence. 

Mr Bathurst, who is currently the Chairperson of the NSW Law Reform Commission, will review the policy objectives and effectiveness of section 93Z of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

The review will consider similar laws in other jurisdictions, including the UK, and consider options for reform of section 93Z.

The review comes in the wake of concerns raised by some community groups about the effectiveness of section 93Z, which makes it an offence to publicly threaten or incite violence against a person on the grounds of race or religious belief or affiliation.  

This follows recent procedural changes to section 93Z to streamline prosecutions, removing a requirement for the Director of Public Prosecutions to agree to the prosecution.    

The Terms of Reference for the Review are currently being developed with Mr Bathurst.

Premier of NSW Chris Minns said:

“There is no place in NSW for hate speech or incitement to violence. We live in a multicultural society, and it is vital that we have laws that protect people who come from communities all around the world and call NSW home.”

“This review, to be conducted by one of the State’s most respected legal minds, will be considered and thorough and help provide the community with confidence that our laws are operating effectively. 

“The widespread loss of life and impacts of war in the Middle East is traumatic for many families and communities. The impacts are felt deeply by many. 

“The NSW Government is deeply committed to ensuring that all communities are able to live peacefully without fear of violence, or threats of violence. 

“Along with our legal frameworks, NSW has a deep commitment to maintaining social cohesion and many measures in place to raise awareness, to educate and strengthen community cohesion.” 

Acting Attorney-General Ron Hoenig said:

“This review is an important step in ensuring we are strengthening our legal frameworks and working to promote social cohesion.”

“NSW has many support services in place for people experiencing vilification including access to help from the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board and NSW Police.  

“But if there is more to be done, we will do it, because we are committed to protecting our harmonious, multicultural community.” 

Chris Minns

Premier of New South Wales

Ron Hoenig

Acting NSW Attorney General

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