August 21, 2017

ORG response to CPS announcement on social media hate crime

ORG has responded to the announcement by the CPS that they will treat online hate crime as seriously as offline offences.

Legal Director, Myles Jackman said:

“It is quite right that people who hide behind social media to commit hate crime should be held accountable for their actions by the criminal justice system and clearly, internet companies should not be left to ‘police’ online speech.

However, some offences employ highly subjective terms like “grossly offensive” and “obscene” which could have a severe chilling effect on the more unpalatable but legitimate areas of free speech, if interpreted strictly.

Finally, Alison Saunders’ avowed intent to crack down on hate crime on social media may be significantly hampered by Kier Starmer’s High Evidential Threshold Test which was specifically designed to reduce the number of cases that actually reached Court”.

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