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Commission publishes Hate Speech legal framework overview

21 January 2020

The Human Rights Commission has published Kōrero Whakamauāhara:Hate Speech, an overview of the current legal framework.

In an introduction, Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt says the paper aims to provide an accessible introduction to hate or harmful speech in national and international law.

"Importantly, the report aims to be neither comprehensive nor an account of the Human Rights Commission in relation to hate or harmful speech," he says. "Instead, the publication is another example of what the Commission has consistently tried to do since 15 March: provide a modest contribution to complex issues with a view to engendering well-informed, inclusive and respectful discussion."

The paper is in four parts. The first part provides an overview of what hate speech laws are and provides arguments for and against them. The second part sets out the international laws that regulate speech. The third part of the paper provides information on the current regulation of hate speech in New Zealand. Lastly, it looks at hate speech laws in similar jurisdictions to New Zealand.

Last updated on the 21st January 2020