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Canadian Hate-Speech Law Violates Charter of Rights 651

Posted by timothy
from the problem-with-liberty dept.
MrKevvy writes "The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has found that federal hate-speech legislation violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the equivalent of the US Constitution's Bill of Rights. This decision exonerates Marc Lemire, webmaster of FreedomSite.org, but may have farther-reaching consequences and serve as precedent for future complaints of hate-speech."
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Canadian Hate-Speech Law Violates Charter of Rights

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  • Pffft! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:37PM (#29301795)
    You hear that sound? It's the sound of Richard Warman shitting himself. Maybe he and Jack Thompson can start some kind of international law firm so they can get international ridicule now.
    • And if you don't like it, move back where your grandfather came from!

      We shall do just FINE here, in the company of Voltaire and Jefferson.

  • Let's hope... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:38PM (#29301813) Homepage Journal
    ...this sets an example for people that insist anything NOT PC speech in the US should be suppressed.
    • Re:Let's hope... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by houstonbofh (602064) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:53PM (#29302021)
      What ever happened to "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me?"

      It is now "Sticks and stones can be forgiven as a condition of growing up in a fatherless home in urban America. But words will land your but in court for both civil and criminal sanctions..."
    • Re:Let's hope... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:02PM (#29302155) Journal

      I hope.

      I saw a video on youtube where a guy was invited to a university to talk about immigration issues, and his own group's belief that the Mexico/Canadian borders should be closed, except for those who obtain a legal Visa for entrance. After about 10 minutes the students started shouting at him so he could no longer finish his prepared remarks, and he asked, "Don't you believe in free speech?" and one of them yelled, "Not when it's hate speech." The professor then walked-over and apologized to the speaker.

      Since when is saying, "We should enforce the Congressional laws," considered hate speech? Also speech is not free, if you're only allowed to say what is "approved" speech by whatever group is in power (the students). That sounds like pure censorship to me - if you don't like what you hear, chain the person's mouth and shut him up.

      • Re:Let's hope... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CannonballHead (842625) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:10PM (#29302263)

        Public university, I assume?

        I wonder if the students were reprimanded in any way. It would seem that, for the most part, university "free speech" tends toward the PC side. Ok, not "tends." Is.

        Try speaking out against abortion at a university some day.

        • Re:Let's hope... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:38PM (#29302647) Journal

          >>>Try speaking out against abortion at a university some day.

          I don't do protests anymore, but when I used to encounter that kind of resistance, I followed this script:

          - "If you're so certain that you are right, why are you afraid???"
          - "I'm not afraid."
          - "Then prove it. Prove you are not afraid by letting me speak."

          If they quiet down I finish expressing my thoughts. If they are not quiet then I tell them point blank, "You are no better than the Iran Shah. He too is a coward. He too is afraid of other people's ideas. That's why he kills people to silence them, and you are no better than he is," and then sit down and wait until they leave the area.

      • Re:Let's hope... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shakrai (717556) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:11PM (#29302291) Journal

        College campuses are notorious for that. They either engage in outright censorship (try organizing a students for concealed carry [concealedcampus.org] protest on your local campus and see how the campus powers-that-be respond) or they just drown you out when they don't agree with you. Rather hypocritical of a group that usually claims to value free speech and liberty so much, isn't it?

        • Re:Let's hope... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Atlantis-Rising (857278) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:14PM (#29302335) Homepage

          Does freedom of speech require that people not drown you out? That seems a rather interesting definition of freedom of speech. By that measure, people are required to assist you with your speech, not merely not punish you for it.

          • Re:Let's hope... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Pig Hogger (10379) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `reggoh.gip'> on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:19PM (#29302387) Journal

            Does freedom of speech require that people not drown you out?

            Freedom of speech is not freedom to be heard.

            • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:58PM (#29303037) Homepage

              Freedom of speech is not freedom to be heard.

              If people are trying to have a civil conversation at a townhall or a speaking event, and someone attempts to drown out views they don't like through screaming, then the police should remove them. If the police won't remove them, then the police are morally responsible for any violence that the other people there visit on the censorious assholes who want to shut down others' comments.

              The people who do this sort of thing (shouting down different points of view) are a significantly greater enemy to civilization and freedom than anyone who clocks them upside the head for being an asshole. People like that are just bourgeois brownshirts.

            • Re:Let's hope... (Score:4, Insightful)

              by plague3106 (71849) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @02:14PM (#29303279)

              Well if that's the case, then whats the point of free speech? I'd argue they go hand in hand, and while no one should be forced to listen that doesn't want to, thats quite different than actively trying to drown out someone else's speech.

              • Re:Let's hope... (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Rob the Bold (788862) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @03:33PM (#29304267)

                Well if that's the case, then whats the point of free speech? I'd argue they go hand in hand, and while no one should be forced to listen that doesn't want to, thats quite different than actively trying to drown out someone else's speech.

                This has always been a problem with "free speech". It does tend to favor the loudest. Kind of like "freedom of the press" doesn't guarantee you a press. The quiet, the less wealthy, the less powerful or less popular do have a harder time making themselves understood.

                In the case of a parliamentary assembly, however, it is vital for proper functioning that all present agree to forgo unlimited right to make themselves heard. This could be a government legislature, a board meeting of a business or charity, or even a "town hall" meeting. The assembly has the right to expel members who do not comport themselves within the standards of the organization. The loudmouths can then exercise their rights to scream like banshee outside the meeting hall/room/whatever. We've seen a lot of video lately of the failure of the process at US town hall meetings lately, and that's a shame.

          • Re:Let's hope... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:28PM (#29302511)

            In the legal sense, no. But the freedom of intellectual inquiry that's a bedrock of the university requires tolerance for a diversity of views, which is unfortunately not popular among the current crop of students (and some professors).

          • Re:Let's hope... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:54PM (#29302937) Journal

            >>>Does freedom of speech require that people not drown you out?

            It does when you've been invited to a lecture, spent a lot of time preparing the speech and/or driving to the location, and then they shout you down. That's roughly-equivalent to inviting a person to a party and then when they show-up, you throw a bucket of paint on them (see Stephen King's "Carrie"). Another Example: I remember when I had a job interview, and I spent about an hour getting dressed, drove 2 hours (roundtrip) to get there, and it only lasted 5 minutes because the boss looked at the resume and said, "I don't think we can use you." That was just plain rude. He could have reviewed my resume before I showed up, or even phone-screened me first.

            Anyway it was rude of the students to waste another person's time like that. He was invited, and he should have been shown the same respect as Al Gore would have received if he had been invited to discuss global warming. If they didn't like what he had to say, they could have left quietly instead of acting like junior high teeny-boppers.

        • Re:Let's hope... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:29PM (#29302525)
          AC as I modded some. Just got a year suspension for using the word mentally retarded in class and then arguing with a couple of ignorant classmates who said I could not say the words mentally retarded. In a Human Services class dealing with case management, and the 4th chapter of our textbook is titled, "The Mentally Retarded". Go figure that one out, because I sure fucking can't.
          • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@b ... h u d s o n .com> on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:53PM (#29302927) Journal

            Just got a year suspension for using the word mentally retarded in class and then arguing with a couple of ignorant classmates who said I could not say the words mentally retarded. In a Human Services class dealing with case management, and the 4th chapter of our textbook is titled, "The Mentally Retarded". Go figure that one out, because I sure fucking can't.

            That's because you're mentally retarded! Everyone knows that the PC term is now Republican, and in (4) (8) years it will be Democrat! Don't be such a 'tard.

            Here, let me connect the dots for you:

            "Free Speech" == "Speech you agree with."
            "Hate Speech" == "Speech you disagree with."

            Taking out the common elements leaves:

            "Free" == "agree"
            "Hate" == "disagree"

            See, it's really that simple.

      • Re:Let's hope... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918@gmail.HORSEcom minus herbivore> on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:25PM (#29302459)
        There is a right to free speech, but there is no right to an audience.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Shakrai (717556)

          What about the people in the audience who wanted to hear the speaker and whom couldn't because of their classmates that can't stand an opposing point of view?

        • Re:Let's hope... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:59PM (#29303055)

          Yes: The students had the right to leave. By shouting him down, they prevented anyone from listening. That is censorship.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        How is this a violation of free speech? This is the way free speech ought to work! The speaker is free to speak his mind, and the idiot student is free to yell about it. In a setting like this, it would also be acceptable to eject the student from the room for breaking social contract. Nobody was arrested and charged with crimes here, why is this a violation of free speech?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BikeHelmet (1437881)

        First, I'm Canadian - I don't think hate speech should be allowed.

        But what is hate speech, exactly? To me, it's a speech filled with anger or passion - a speech that incites hate from other people - and a speech that has its bases formed from hate rather than law or proven fact.

        I saw a video on youtube where a guy was invited to a university to talk about immigration issues, and his own group's belief that the Mexico/Canadian borders should be closed, except for those who obtain a legal Visa for entrance. After about 10 minutes the students started shouting at him so he could no longer finish his prepared remarks, and he asked, "Don't you believe in free speech?" and one of them yelled, "Not when it's hate speech." The professor then walked-over and apologized to the speaker.

        There is hate going on here, but not from the party you think.

        The fellow is talking about a lawful yet controversial issue. This is protected under freedom of speech. If he were discussing deporting Mexicans already here because they

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SoupGuru (723634) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:39PM (#29301831)
    I have always been suspicious of hate speech legislation. It seems ideal for creating slippery slopes.
    • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:48PM (#29301937)

      You can only take it.

      • by SoupGuru (723634) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:55PM (#29302045)
        Not that I disagree with you entirely but I would argue that the Westboro Baptists are pretty offensive when they practice their rights to carry "Pray for more dead soldiers" signs at a serviceman's funeral. Are you suggesting it's my fault that I'm offended by that? I'm not arguing that we should limit their rights to do that but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be offended by it.
        • by jgtg32a (1173373) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:02PM (#29302161)
          I think the best way to solve the whole hate speech nonsense is it lessen the consequences of assault and battery
          • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:32PM (#29302577)
            I think the best way to handle is for people to grow a thicker skin and learn to let things slide every once in a while. These are just words we are talking about here. Sure, sometimes words can be used to incite harm, but harassment, libel, threats, and inciting riots are all already against the law! Being offended and butt-hurt about what someone else has to say, no matter how vile, is childish and silly behavior. If you don't like what I have to say, don't listen. It's that simple.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by pjt33 (739471)

            Or mock them [youtube.com]. (Chasers' War, for those who've seen it before).

        • by Hijacked Public (999535) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:03PM (#29302167)

          I've been discharged a while (USMC) but that doesn't offend me at all.

          It might be because I believe prayer to be a completely worthless means of getting anything done, but it also might be because I know that even though people have all sorts of beliefs I consider weird, very few of them have any actual impact on my life.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It is certainly not your fault that you are offended. The bottom line, though, is that whether or not you are offended is absolutely, 100% irrelevant in matters of free speech. I have the right to offend you as badly as I like, as my right to free speech supersedes your non-existent right to not hear things that make you feel icky. Remember, if you have a right to not feel icky, so do the people on the other side of the fence from you, and they will waste no time in using their delicate sensibilities to shu
        • by natehoy (1608657) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:45PM (#29302777) Journal

          It doesn't mean you shouldn't be offended by it, sure, but to go back the RobotRunAmok's original quote - "you cannot give offense, you can only take it."

          They are doing something they know other people won't like to make a point. You find their actions deeply unpleasant and disrespectful. Fine. I actually agree with you, but that's beside the point. They know a lot of people will become angered by what they do, and that is their goal - to get people talking about them and help spread their message.

          You are taking offense. They can't force you to be offended, offense is your reaction to their action. You control your reactions, not them. If you decide that they control that, then you have decided that they own a little teeny piece of you.

          If you decide that their actions are worth anger and resentment on your part, then (a) you are taking offense, and (b) you are allowing their asshattedness to control you. You choose to take them seriously. They can't make you do so. You choose to mention their name in a discussion board. Guess what? That's what they want you to do. They want you to repeat their name as often as possible, and mention their actions. They are marketing, and you are giving them free ads. Don't take it personally, we all get manipulated this way.

          If you decide that they are jsut a bunch of effing asshats and ignore them, then you are not taking offense, and they are not controlling you. You can still consider what they do offensive, but you can also choose to consider it irrelevant because they are asshats. You can stop mentioning them, and you can forget about them. If they do actual harm to someone, that merits a reaction, but reacting in their intended manner to their actions means they own you, at least a little. They win.

          Your offense, ironically, justifies their actions in their minds. Ignoring them denies them the control over you they crave.

  • by Maury Markowitz (452832) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:40PM (#29301843) Homepage

    Thank god this is done with at last.

    Hate speech requires a hate listener. Let's work on that problem, because that one doesn't violate anyone's rights.

  • Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:42PM (#29301873) Homepage

    CHRT has no teeth on this. All they can say is "unlawful" and go on about their business about prosecuting people. If it was a real court we wouldn't be in this position now. What a pile of BS.

    But...they can bury you in fines and ruin your life without ever having to be judged by the actual laws of the land. That type of stuff really pisses me off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dr Caleb (121505)

      It's amazing how many people haven't read the ruling isn't it?

      First off, it's a Tribunal - it means nothing WRT the law. Second, the ruling is that section 13(1) if the law - where you are fined monetarily - is unconstitutional. So, you can still be convicted under the Hate Speech laws in the kangaroo court, you just can't be bankrupted in the process. Plus that Wharman dweeb does not collect $200 for his posting hate speech under assumed identities.

    • rigour mortis (Score:4, Informative)

      by epine (68316) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @02:10PM (#29303233)

      CHRT has no teeth ... If [CHRT] was a real court ... [immune to] actual laws of the land ... pisses me off

      Surprised you find the mechanism of the court so perfect in every way that no other judicial mechanism should even exist, even ones sanctioned by parliamentary legislation.

      From About the CHRT [chrt-tcdp.gc.ca]

      The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) was created in 1977 by an Act of Parliament.
      _...
      Parliament finally enshrined the Tribunal's independence in law and the Canadian Human Rights Act was amended to formalize the CHRT's independence.
      _...
      As an administrative tribunal, the CHRT has more flexibility than regular courts.

      One of the reasons given for this is that the defendant does not need to follow rules of evidence in his/her defence. Following the rules of evidence is an expensive process, maybe more so than the fines if convicted.

      From Legal Definition of Administrative Tribunal [duhaime.org]

      Between routine government policy decision-making bodies and the traditional court forums lies a hybrid, sometimes called a "tribunal" or "administrative tribunal" and not necessarily presided by judges.

      These operate as a government policy-making body at times but also exercise a licensing, certifying, approval or other adjudication authority which is "quasi-judicial" because it directly affects the legal rights of a person.

      This authority does not amount to hard biting surfaces?

      From About the CHRT - The Vice-Chairperson [chrt-tcdp.gc.ca]

      Mr. Hadjis received his Bachelor Degree in Civil Law together with his Bachelor Degree in Common Law from McGill University in Montreal, in 1986. He was called to the Quebec Bar in 1987.

      That's as much training as most judges prior to their appointment. How many lawyers have equal training in both of Canada's legal traditions?

      When I was eight years old I rode my bike on my way to school across the corner of someones lawn which in my small town was rather indistinct from the gravel boulevard which surrounded it. An elementary school classmate witnessed this and and yelled at me "get off my lawn or my dad will sue you".

      That has ever since been my psychological template for people who regard human rights as a "shout off my lawn" free card.

      I believe in absolute protection against unpopularity. In my eyes "abortion should be permitted until halfway through the third trimester" is protected speech. "Jews are verminous scum and should be gassed by the millions" is not.

      Somehow we need to define a line between these speech acts. It's not going to be an easy task, we'll make many mistakes, and there will be much wailing and outrage.

      Nevertheless, suck it up: it must be done. The only question is how to do it better rather than worse. The courts surely aren't perfect, and neither are tribunals. A tribunal leaves more scope for fine tuning than the formal court system.

      If a person is cursing the scope for fine tuning the system (the flexibility of the tribunal) in my experience it's likely because the person doesn't wish to see the job done right in the first place. It's a bit of a straw man tactic. Once you lock this up with the inflexibility of the courts under the rubric of fairness, it becomes a simple matter to advance the case that the courts in their rigidness can't ever get this right. And that would likely be true in a generational time frame.

      The fallacy of the slippery slope is the presumption that objects only ever slide down hill. If nothing ever went up the hill, we'd have no traditions worth respecting whatsoever.

      If anything is important enough to push uphill, for as long as it takes, this would be it.

  • Hate speech, especially published hate speech, serves no purpose other than to degrade, criminalize or deter a particular person, race, or gender.

    The real issue is people worrying about giving censorship a foot and they'll take a mile.

    • by Shakrai (717556) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:53PM (#29302017) Journal

      Hate speech, especially published hate speech, serves no purpose other than to degrade, criminalize or deter a particular person, race, or gender.

      That shouldn't mean you get to outlaw it though.

      • That shouldn't mean you get to outlaw it though.

        Yes it does!! Hate speech is spoken by racists, and sexists, and homophobes, and bigots, and all those other people I don't like.

        They are nasty people. Everybody knows it. They say such mean things and hurt people's feelings and make people upset, and they just want to make more people nasty like them! People are vulnerable to what they say; they could be brainwashed!! People need protection from these kinds of bad influences!

        It's just like child molesters. You wouldn't let them speak freely would you?! Nobody would! These people are wrong, just so wrong. No one has the right to be so wrong! So they shouldn't be allowed to speak or enjoy the freedoms the rest of us do.

        It's only fair.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by e9th (652576)
      Like beauty, hate speech is in the eye of the beholder. What I find hateful, you might find insightful. When I can ban publication of that which I find hateful, you have a problem.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by reginaldo (1412879)
      I agree. Where the problem comes in though, is defining the boundary between hate speech and ignorant rhetoric. For instance, if I were to say that women should not serve in the military as infantry because they don't have the musculature, is that hate speech?

      What if I said women shouldn't be infantry because they are weak and can't handle it?

      As a sidenote, I don't believe either of the above statements, I am just trying to prove a point.
    • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:59PM (#29302111)

      Hate speech, especially published hate speech, serves no purpose other than to degrade, criminalize or deter a particular person, race, or gender.

      The real issue is people worrying about giving censorship a foot and they'll take a mile.

      Please define "hate speech" in a way that is objective and clear and does not require knowing what is going on inside the mind of the person using it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Homburg (213427)

        Please define "hate speech" in a way that is objective and clear and does not require knowing what is going on inside the mind of the person using it.

        How about the definition in UK law:

        A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if-

        (a) he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or

        (b) having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby.

        This uses standard, clear and objective legal terminology such as "intend" and "likely" (note that just because these terms require judgement in their application does not mean they are not clear or objective - all criminal prosecutions require a determination of intent, the mens rea. This, of course, is not determined by spookily looking inside someone's head, but by applying reasonably human judgement to their observable actions).

        The idea that hate speech is somehow subj

    • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:08PM (#29302249) Homepage Journal

      Because in the US that is what hate speech laws are being used for. Get off from a high profile case that "bothers" some politicians and you can be sure a hate speech charge will crop up. Been done in a few visible crimes around Atlanta, suddenly the Feds are brought in because there was enough to convict on the real accused crime.

      The other point is that prosecuting under the guise of a hate crime can devalue the real crime. I don't care why they selected someone's house to rob/burn/etc, all reasons should be treated the same : equally bad. Yet we try to differentiate the crimes by assigning severity based on what they were thinking or what we think they were thinking?

      Fortunately in both countries we can still each have our opinions, I just hope the Supremes start tossing the US version out as well... which reminds me, did the group who declared it wrong in Canada have the last voice on that?

    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:10PM (#29302269) Journal

      >>>Hate speech, especially published hate speech, serves no purpose other than to degrade, criminalize or deter a particular person, race, or gender.

      Oh really? During the 1790s several Americans who criticized the John Adam's presidency were called a "hate speakers". Well they didn't have that term then, preferring to call it "seditious speech", but it was the equivalent - they labeled those criticisms as having no purpose and therefore people were jailed for exercising their opinions, including Benjamin's Franklin's grandson.

      If you give government power to stop hate speech (or seditious speech), then you give government the power to stop ANY speech that they don't like - such as saying Bush's War is bogus (hello jail) or Obama's Healthcare is monopoly (hello jail again). The Democratic Party was born when Jefferson and others decided to take power and reverse the Sedition Act.

      I find it ironic that the same party is now trying to restore the Sedition Act - a different name but still the same effect.

  • by Atrox666 (957601) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:46PM (#29301921)
    I hate you all...legally.
  • Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @12:49PM (#29301975)

    Is anyone really surprised that anti-hatespeech laws violate the basic 'free speech' right? I mean, either a person is free to say what they want or not.

    I'm not condoning hate speech. I think it's still immoral and unethical... But it's still covered under 'free speech' no matter how much I hate it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The law itself was not really found to violate the 'free speech' right.

      In a previous ruling the Supreme Court of Canada (I think) upheld said law.

      This ruling found "the law was originally intended to be âoeremedial, preventative and conciliatory in nature,â rather than a means to hand out penalties."

      It was really the punishment called for by the law that was found to be inequitable. Because of this problem no action will be taken though the defendant was found to be guilty of 'hate speech'.

  • by mikeabbott420 (744514) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:04PM (#29302181) Journal
    Freedom of speech requires we allow assholes to say offensive things. Even the idiots who hate free speech should have the right to speak their moronic opinions ;)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:26PM (#29302477)

    - A single judge presides and decides. There is no jury and no multiple opinion.

    - There are no rules of evidence. Anything can be presented.

    - There is no right for the accused to confront or question the accuser.

    - The person charged must prove their innocence. There is no "guilty beyond reasonable doubt" principle in effect. If the person charged does not show, he loses.

    - All legal costs of the accuser are paid by the commission whether he wins or loses. All legal costs of the accused are paid by himself, whether he wins or loses.

    - If the accused loses, the potentially life-destroying fine is given directly to the accuser.

    All in all, a sick and twisted example of Kafkaesque evil.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      You forgot one point that is perhaps even more important than the rest:

      - Truth is not a defense.

      Yes, it doesn't matter whether what you say is true or not. So long as your speech "is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt", you're screwed. This means that, for example, any scientific research, even if perfectly flawless and objective, that would expose differences between groups separated by racial, ethnic, cultural or religious criteria in areas where it is controversial (e.g. intellect

  • by hessian (467078) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:33PM (#29302593) Homepage Journal

    Advocates call the law a necessary control on hate speech in an age where the Internet makes the spread of messages easier and faster. Opponents say it's censorship and has no place in a free society.

    Not only are we divided on whether it should be legal, we are divided on what it should be.

    Is it hate speech to call other races subhumans, but legal to note in a scientific paper that there IQ differences [news-medical.net] between [wikipedia.org] races [halfsigma.com], moral evolutionary differences [edge.org], or even that statistically, crime is not distributed evenly [colorofcrime.com] between all groups?

    Half of scientists say race doesn't exist [pbs.org], the others [goodrumj.com] keep quiet.

    The bigger issue here is what we're obscuring the pursuit of truth with all sorts of social pretense. Let's look at the facts and keep emotion (true hate speech) and censorship out of the debate.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)

      race is a byproduct of borders and hate.

      nad those papers are flawed in that they do not take culture into account.
      Different peopel ahve different cultures, some embrace educations, and some do not.
      Many poor people don't raise there children very well, and the children of the ones that are raised well are very seldom poor when they grow up.

      It's clearly a culture issue.

      All modern humans a re a sub species, as noted buy the term "Homo Sapiens Sapiens"
      You are referring to the idea of infrasubspecies.

      Crimes are

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@slashd[ ]org ['ot.' in gap]> on Thursday September 03, 2009 @01:46PM (#29302809)

    The one that you're just a pussy for complaining about it.
    And the one that causes physical pain and is known by the speaker to do so.

    Yes, it's proven nowadays, that emotional pain is no different or less real than "real" physical pain to the brain. Same chemical reaction. Same everything. So being left by your girlfriend really hurts. And perhaps some painkillers would actually work!
    So if you know it, and deliberately hurt someone, it does not matter in what way you are doing it. What matters is, if it hurts or not.

    And the only reason we're discussing this at all, is that it is so hard, to prove emotional damage.

  • by lattyware (934246) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Thursday September 03, 2009 @02:02PM (#29303103) Homepage Journal
    "Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you're in favor of free speech, then you're in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise. Otherwise, you're not in favor of free speech." --Noam Chomsky

    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." --Evelyn Beatrice Hall (As a summary of Voltaire's beliefs.)

Work without a vision is slavery, Vision without work is a pipe dream, But vision with work is the hope of the world.

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