In my view, the Bill goes further than is necessary to curb truly hateful speech. As the Bill currently stands, it unreasonably and unjustifiably violates the right to freedom of expression and will have the effect of illegitimately restricting protected speech. 1. Firstly, there is no need to create a new criminal offense of “hate speech”. Speech that violates human dignity can already be criminally prosecuted under the crime of crimen injuria, and a remedy also exists in civil law whereby the South African Human Rights Commission can lay civil charges of hate speech on behalf of alleged victims of hate speech. In each of these instances, the costs of the legal proceedings are borne by the state (on behalf of the alleged victim), whereas the alleged perpetrator has to incur costs for his/her own account to defend the charges. There is therefore no need for a new crime of “hate speech”. Proposal to address objection: Scrap the hate speech section and all related definitions and associated content from the Bill. 2. In the alternative, if a new crime of hate speech is to be created, I have the following objections: a) The content of the proposed new crime of ‘hate speech’ is wider than the definition of hate speech in section 16(2)(c) of the Constitution in a number of respects – i. It includes speech that is intended to be harmful, in addition to speech that incites others to cause harm. (Whilst speech intended to harm is certainly worth rooting out, existing law and legislation, and criminal and civil sanctions, are already in place to curb and eradicate such speech.) The purpose of the prohibition of hate speech (as clearly laid out in the Constitution) is to eradicate “advocacy of hatred… that constitutes incitement (of others) to cause harm”. ii. In addition to accepted legal conceptions of ‘harm’ (psychological, physical and economic detriment), the Bill includes in its proposed definition of “harm”, new and untested conceptions of harm (‘emotional’ and ‘social’ detriment), which will open the floodgates to unintended and ubiquitous criminal prosecutions. iii. It proposes the addition of ten (10) new grounds for hate speech over and above the four contained in the Constitution. Whereas the addition of grounds, as in the case of the hate speech prohibition in the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, may be a reasonably and justifiable intervention in the context of civil remedies for hateful speech, the grounds should not be extended beyond what is provided in the Constitution in the context of criminalised speech, which may lead to the imposition of a fine or prison sentence. Proposal to address objections: 1) Limit the definition of the crime of hate speech to only instances of “incitement to cause harm”. 2) Limit the definition of “harm” to instances of “psychological, physical or economic detriment”. 3) Limit the grounds of the new crime of hate speech to those (four) listed in section 16(2)(c) of the Constitution. b) Lastly, whilst the Bill includes an exemption for espousing religious interpretations, convictions, teachings etc. orally or in writing, the exemption wording is such that it does not provide real/actual or effective protection for those expressing sincerely held faith positions or convictions. Proposal to address objection: Re-word clause 4(2) and 4(2)(d) to provide effective protection for those expressing sincerely held faith positions or convictions. In this regard I request that the Select Committee consider the detailed submissions of one or more of the following organisations: Freedom of Religion South Africa, Christian View Network, and Cause for Justice.