The Law Commission has published a 533-page consultation on reforming “hate crime and hate speech laws”. The new bill it wants to bring before the House of Commons is, according to the Free Speech Union, “tantamount to an Anti-Free Speech Bill which is an all-out attack on freedom of expression”. Andrew Tettenborn, Professor of Law at Swansea University, describes the Commission’s proposals as “the Scottish Hate Crime Bill on steroids”.
The commission suggests that “inflammatory cartoons” should not be covered by our right to free speech. The Commission writes: “Several recent incidents involving inflammatory images create grounds for concern… These include Islamophobic cartoons…” The Commission is concerned that, as the law stands, a person who sent another person an “inflammatory cartoon” can only be prosecuted under section 127(1) of the Communications Act 2003. It then goes on to complain: “However, this does not carry the same gravity or labelling as the stirring up offences. It does not reflect the fundamental harm involved, which is not that it is offensive, but that it incites hatred. ” As Macron stands up to the Islamists’ terror, the Law Commission wants to surrender to their agenda.
Other woke notions from the Law Commission include the protection of “philosophical belief” and special legal protection for non-religious philosophical beliefs like humanism. Giving humanists protection from criticism seems ironic given how humanists have been at the forefront of historical efforts to abolish blasphemy laws.
The Free Speech Union has produced a briefing worth reading before making your views known via the Law Commission consultation here. Lawyers in Britain increasingly see themselves as social justice warriors…