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Supreme Court of Canada Decision: Saskatchewan (H.R.C.) versus Whatcott

[116] The purpose of hate speech legislation is to restrict the use of representations likely to expose protected groups to hatred and its harmful effects. The expression captured under hate speech laws is of an extreme nature. Framing that speech as arising in a “moral” context or “within a public policy debate” does not cleanse it of its harmful effect. Indeed, if one understands an effect of hate speech as curtailing the ability of the affected group to participate in the debate, relaxing the standard in the context of political debate is arguably more rather than less damaging to freedom of expression. As argued by some interveners, history demonstrates that some of the most damaging hate rhetoric can be characterized as “moral”, “political” or “public policy” discourse.

check out the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Saskatchewan (H.R.C.) versus Whatcott.

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