Guardian Aus: Free speech advocates at odds with faith groups over NSW hate speech law overhaul

Tamsin Rose: A move to overhaul the law criminalising hate speech in New South Wales following clashes across Sydney amid community tensions over the Israel-Hamas war has sparked debate over the limits of freedom of speech.

The NSW premier, Chris Minns, this week ordered a review of the 2018 law that made it a crime to threaten or incite violence based on race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, because to date crimes under the laws had never been successfully prosecuted.

Lydia Shelly, the president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said the government’s move to reform the hate speech law was concerning if it was being done based on lobbying from faith groups and “in the absence of any legal or policy evidence”.

“This is a fundamental value we enjoy living in a democracy. We must not allow changes to our laws that will see our capacity to challenges ideas, positions and beliefs be taken away from us.”

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