Precedent Setting Hate Speech Case
The Office of Human Rights Proceedings (OHRP) is bringing a case against the Attorney-General arguing current hate speech provisions under the Human Rights Act fail to protect people on the basis of sexual orientation.
The gap was exposed in 2017 when a West Auckland Pastor made inciteful comments against homosexuals that were reported on in the media. But, the law had no response to that hate speech because it was targeted towards homosexuals, and was not on the basis of colour, race, ethnic or national origins.
Minister of Justice Hon Kris Faafoi is proposing to change to the incitement provisions in the Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation, age and disability.
Despite the proposal to change the law to include sexual orientation, the Attorney-General, on behalf of the Government, is continuing to say the current settings are not discriminatory.
The plaintiff disagrees and says current law fails to protect him and is therefore discriminatory on the basis of his sexual orientation.
The case will be heard in the Human Rights Review Tribunal in Wellington.
- When: Monday 10 am June 14
- Where: Level 1, 86 Customhouse Quay, Wellington
The case is expected to last three days.
The case comes from 2017 when West Auckland pastor Logan Robertson incited violence towards homosexuals. A Ponsonby man argued the Human Rights Act failed to protect him from hate speech and breached his human rights. He took the case to the Human Rights Commission for mediation. Mediation was not successful and the man took his case to the OHRP which took the case and is now providing free legal representation to him. Read the Cabinet paper on the proposed law changes here; https://www.justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Publications/Proactive-release-incitement-provisions.pdf Read the Human Rights Commission’s overview on hate speech here: https://www.hrc.co.nz/news/resource-hate-speech-legal-framework-published/