Denver, Colo., May 2, 2023 / 10:30 am
Ireland is preparing to enact a broader ban on hate crimes and hate speech as critics warn of effects on freedom of expression.
Backers presented the bill, The Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Act 2022, as an update of a 1989 law. They cited new technological developments and newly prominent minorities such as people of different races and religions, persons with disabilities, and those who identify as LGBTQ.
The Department of Justice, in an October summary of the bill, said many consider the 1989 law to be “ineffective,” with only about 50 prosecutions for violations in the past 30 years. It said updates to the bill protect “genuine freedom of expression.”
“Hate speech is designed to shut people down, to shut them up, to make them afraid to say who they are and to exclude and isolate them. There is nothing free about that, and there is, frankly, no place for it in our society.”