Queensland Labor recently introduced new policies aimed at addressing hate speech and the display of banned symbols or tattoos. These policies, proposed by the Labor left, seek to deter the use of hate symbols associated with Nazi ideology and impose stricter penalties for offenses motivated by hatred or serious contempt. The existing offense of serious vilification will also be strengthened.
The Criminal Code (Serious Vilification and Hate Crimes) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 incorporates four key recommendations from the Legal Affairs and Safety Committee, proposed in January 2022, to enhance hate crime laws in Queensland.
One significant aspect of the new policies is the introduction of a “Prohibited symbols” offense, which aims to protect the community from the distress and insecurity caused by the public display of hate symbols. This offense prohibits the public display, distribution, or publication of prohibited symbols that may reasonably be expected to cause individuals to feel menaced, harassed, or offended, unless the person has a reasonable excuse. The scope of this offense is extensive, covering public displays of tattoos and the online distribution or publication of prohibited symbols.
Moreover, the reforms also include amendments to existing offenses to incorporate a new circumstance of aggravation. Offenses such as common assault, going armed so as to cause fear, threatening violence, assault occasioning bodily harm, wilful damage, trespass, and public nuisance will be subject to increased penalties if committed with motivations rooted in hatred or serious contempt based on race, religion, sexuality, sex characteristics, or gender identity. The aim of these provisions is to provide the courts with greater discretion in treating these offenses as more serious and deserving of harsher punishments, including longer custodial sentences.
It is important to note that John Atkinson, the proponent of these policies, is an electrical engineer by profession and also known for his comedic talents. This serves as a reminder that individuals involved in various professions can contribute to legal and social advancements.
The implementation of these new policies has caught the attention of Cairns News, which once came across a photograph of a prominent political figure sporting a tattoo on her bum. It seems that she may now have to don clothing to conceal it, in light of the restrictions imposed by the Prohibited symbols offense.
In conclusion, Queensland Labor’s introduction of new policies to combat hate speech and the display of banned symbols or tattoos is aimed at safeguarding the community from distress and insecurity. The provisions seek to address hate crimes by prohibiting the public display, distribution, or publication of hate symbols, and imposing stricter penalties for offenses motivated by hatred or serious contempt. These reforms underscore the state’s commitment to promoting inclusivity, respect, and social harmony.