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AIJAC welcomes the passage of improved NSW race hate laws

Dec 1, 2023 | Colin Rubenstein

Section 93Z of the NSW Crimes Act 1900
Section 93Z of the NSW Crimes Act 1900

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) welcomed the passage this week (November 30) of NSW laws to improve the prosecution process for the offence of publicly threatening or inciting violence against a person or a group based on their race, religion or other attributes.

AIJAC also formally congratulated NSW Premier Chris Minns and NSW Attorney-General Michael Daley for responding to community concerns.

It passed the Upper House with amendments 34 to 5 – with only the four Greens Upper House MPs and the sole Animal Justice Party MP opposing.

AIJAC and a number of other Jewish communal organisations have been at the forefront of the campaign to bring about the changes.

The Crimes Amendment (Prosecution of Certain Offences) Bill 2023 will commence upon proclamation by the Governor and after appropriate police training.

AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein said:

“Hate speech has no place in our society.

“No one should be permitted to propagate hate towards another group without facing tough consequences – and these changes aim to make it easier to bring those who offend to account.

“This is about sending a strong signal that if you engage in hate speech you will be held to account and face prosecution. It is hoped that it will target those who preach hate in our community against the vulnerable.

“The Jewish community has long advocated improvements to the existing NSW laws overseeing the prosecution of threats and incitement to violence, given that there has never been a successful prosecution under the current legislation.

“Admittedly, this has been a long time in coming, but it is welcome and we now hope that it will result in prosecutions for those who spread hate in our community.

“Sadly, there is profound apprehension and anxiety in the state’s Jewish community, especially in light of the recent huge spike in antisemitism in NSW, Australia and around the world.

“If we are to strive to maintain our harmonious society that is free from religious and racial discrimination and incitement to violence, then it is essential that our relevant laws are workable and enforceable.”

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