Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Political opinion and the proper scope of hate speech laws; a post in honour of John Campbell

5 Responses

  • Brent Jackson,

    Nicely put.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

  • Aaron Meikle,

    Thought provoking and view changing as always. Thanks

    Since Jul 2021 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Rick Shera,

    You did admit to an ulterior motive, Graeme, but, that is a beautifully constructed Trojan Horse

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rick Shera,

    You did admit to an ulterior motive, Graeme, but, that is a beautifully constructed Trojan Horse

    I don't think I've ever thought about what ulterior actually means!

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3211 posts Report Reply

  • PaulL,

    I agree with your reasoning. I also agree with your implicit perspective that this isn't needed at all, and that on balance it is more likely to cause harm than good. I would expect the number of people who feel unable to express themselves, or are threatened with prosecution, or are actually prosecuted inappropriately, would significantly outweigh the number of people who this law should cover and are prosecuted.

    It's hard to assess the relative harm. I'm inclined to heavily weight the harm to those whose free speech is impinged, and to relatively lightly weight the incitement, as in my mind someone who is that far over the line that this could/should catch them will likely also be committing all sorts of other crimes that are already covered in our legislation. I.e. a small number of instances where we don't do a lot of incremental good, a large number of instances where we do substantial bad.

    It will be interesting to see how this proposal develops. In some sense I'm like you - I'd rather the proposal stay more obviously bad so that it can be more easily resisted. If it gets softened then perhaps people will say "that's not so bad", and we get slow erosion of important rights.

    Since Mar 2017 • 1 posts Report Reply

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