Trump Jr and Elon Musk To Take Legal Action Against The New Irish Hate Speech Crime Bill

The Bill is the most hotly-debated piece of paperwork sitting in the Irish government's in-tray.

Elon Musk and the son of former United States president Donald Trump record their intention to challenge the newly proposed Irish Hate Speech Crime Bill.

The Bill is the most hotly-debated piece of paperwork sitting in the Irish government’s in-tray.

It’s the country’s first dedicated piece of legislation to combat hate speech – The Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022.

Critics – including Donald Trump Jr and Mr Musk – say the proposed legislation excessively encroaches upon freedom of expression, with little clarity on what defines incitement to hatred.

With dozens of amendments anticipated, the law is set to make plenty of headlines as it makes its way through the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) – but what is it and why is it so controversial?

What’s Ireland’s new Hate Speech Bill about?

The proposed legislation, external will establish statutes for addressing incitement to violence or hatred.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said “The real purpose of this bill is protecting those who are most vulnerable” to hate crime and hate speech.

“Ireland does not have specific hate crime offences set out in law, making us an outlier in the Western world,” they added.

The bill will allow for higher sentences if someone is convicted of assaulting a person on the basis of hatred for “protected characteristics”.

These include race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

The department has stressed that the legislation is “not a new or radical departure in Irish law” and said it wants to be clear about what is, and what isn’t, intended with the bill.

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Freedom of expression is a protected right under both the Irish constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

A spokesperson for the European Commission told BBC News NI it had been in contact with Irish authorities to “support an effective transposition of the Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law”.

“Once the bill is adopted, the commission services will closely assess the conformity of the new legislation with EU legislation criminalising hate speech and hate crime,” they added.