The Need for New Tools to Break the Silos: Identity Categories in Hate Speech Legislation
The implications of specifying certain identity categories have been widely debated in the context of hate crime laws and policies. However, they have been less thoroughly examined in the particular contexts of hate speech. Although the majority of laws regulating speech do not differentiate between identity categories, the ‘stirring up’ offences of the United Kingdom Public Order Act 1986 are stratified along grounds of race, religion and sexual orientation. This article argues that, while the concerns raised about identity categories in relation to hate crime legislation are equally relevant to the stirring up provisions, the proposed solutions cannot automatically be transposed to hate speech offences. Accordingly, this article explores challenges that are encountered in attempts to make hate crime and hate speech legislation more inclusive before advancing some tentative suggestions for how hate speech laws might move beyond identity silos.
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