Fears tough new hate speech powers for NSW police could have ‘chilling effect’ on public debate

Legal experts say Minns government’s proposed reform risks ‘opening the floodgates for controversial speech to be investigated’

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New South Wales police will be handed the power to lay charges for threats and incitement to violence based on race and religion in a reform introduced to state parliament amid rising tensions over the conflict in Gaza.

The premier, Chris Minns, said the laws governing hate speech needed to “have teeth” when he announced the change, after a swift review of the legislation.

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