Wednesday Jul 19, 2023

The Fight For Free Speech in Ireland

There is a fierce battle for free speech taking place in the Republic of Ireland, where the proposed Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred or Hate Offences) Bill (‘CJB’) is expected to radically extend the scope of hate crime. In that context, we are delighted to welcome Sarah Hardiman, spokesperson for Free Speech Ireland (FSI), to this week’s episode of ‘That’s Debatable’. Top of the list of the FSI’s concerns is the lack of clarity around essential definitions within the CJB, such as the definition of ‘hate‘ itself!  Our discussion touches on several areas that will be familiar to our listeners such as the practical problems of policing hate laws, the tension between lobby groups and individual citizens, and what appears to be the ubiquitous inadequacy of state education systems in relaying the vital importance of free expression in a free society. A significant motivator for Sarah and the FSI is the demonstrable support from individual Irish citizens who, following more thorough reporting in the national and international press, are clearly quite horrified at the more perverse implications of the bill as currently drafted; dawn raids for possession of wrong think documents being a good example. If you would like to support the FSI in this essential fight, then please do visit their website at https://freespeechireland.ie and follow the FSI across their social media channels.

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