On 21 June 2018, the NSW Parliament passed the Crimes Amendment (Publicly Threatening and Inciting Violence) Bill, which inserted a new section 93Z into the NSW Crimes Act.
The stated objective of the law is “to create an offence of publicly threatening or inciting violence on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex or HIV/AIDS status”.
However, many believe the law goes too far by unjustifiably interfering with freedom of speech.
If you are charged under section 93Z and are going to court, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on 9261 8881 to arrange a free first appointment with a specialist criminal defence lawyer who will take your through your options and advise you of the best way forward.
Section 93Z of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) deals with the offence of “publicly threatening for inciting violence on grounds of race” and reads as follows:
93Z Offence of publicly threatening or inciting violence on grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex or HIV/AIDS status
(1) A person who, by a public act, intentionally or recklessly threatens or incites violence towards another person or a group of persons on any of the following grounds is guilty of an offence:
(a) the race of the other person or one or more of the members of the group,
(b) that the other person has, or one or more of the members of the group have, a specific religious belief or affiliation,
(c) the sexual orientation of the other person or one or more of the members of the group,
(d) the gender identity of the other person or one or more of the members of the group,
(e) that the other person is, or one or more of the members of the group are, of intersex status,
(f) that the other person has, or one or more of the members of the group have, HIV or AIDS.
(a) in the case of an individual–100 penalty units or imprisonment for 3 years (or both), or
(b) in the case of a corporation–500 penalty units.
(2) In determining whether an alleged offender has committed an offence against this section, it is irrelevant whether the alleged offender’s assumptions or beliefs about an attribute of another person or a member of a group of persons referred to in subsection (1) (a)-(f) were correct or incorrect at the time that the offence is alleged to have been committed.
(3) In determining whether an alleged offender has committed an offence against this section of intentionally or recklessly inciting violence, it is irrelevant whether or not, in response to the alleged offender’s public act, any person formed a state of mind or carried out any act of violence.
(4) A prosecution for an offence against this section is not to be commenced without the approval of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
(5) In this section:
“gender identity” means the gender related identity, appearance or mannerisms or other gender related characteristics of a person (whether by way of medical intervention or not), with or without regard to the person’s designated sex at birth.
“intersex status” means the status of having physical, hormonal or genetic features that are:
(a) neither wholly female nor wholly male, or
(b) a combination of female and male, or
(c) neither female nor male.
(a) any form of communication (including speaking, writing, displaying notices, playing of recorded material, broadcasting and communicating through social media and other electronic methods) to the public, and
(b) any conduct (including actions and gestures and the wearing or display of clothing, signs, flags, emblems and insignia) observable by the public, and
(c) the distribution or dissemination of any matter to the public.
For the avoidance of doubt, an act may be a public act even if it occurs on private land.
“race” includes colour, nationality, descent and ethnic, ethno-religious or national origin.
“religious belief or affiliation” means holding or not holding a religious belief or view.
“sexual orientation” means a person’s sexual orientation towards:
(a) persons of the same sex, or
(b) persons of a different sex, or
(c) persons of the same sex and persons of a different sex.
Choosing the right lawyer to represent you can be difficult.
However, having the right legal team on your side can make all the difference when it comes to securing a positive outcome in your case.
At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, we have considerable experience fighting and winning a wide range of criminal cases.
As a law firm specialising in criminal law, our expert lawyers have the knowledge and skills necessary to secure the best possible outcome in your case.
In many cases, our outstanding lawyers are able to have charges dropped at an early stage by carefully scrutinising all the evidence and identifying any problems with the prosecution case.
We can then write to the prosecution explaining your side of the story and asking to have the charges dropped.
Should the prosecution refuse to drop the charges, our senior defence team will give you the best possible representation in court by presenting all favourable evidence in a compelling manner and examining all witnesses in order to cast doubt on the prosecution case.
In some cases, we have even been able to have costs awarded in favour of our clients where they have suffered as a result of wrongful accusations.
Our lawyers can also help you obtain a lenient penalty where you simply wish to plead guilty; in these circumstances we can prepare effective sentencing submissions which highlight any positive factors in your case.
For the best outcome in your case, trust the experts at Sydney Criminal Lawyers®.
Going to Court? Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference with us.