Incitement to ethnic or racial hatred

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Incitement to racial or ethnic hatred is a crime under the laws of several countries.

United Kingdom[edit]

Under the law of the United Kingdom, "incitement to racial hatred" was established as an offence by the provisions of §§ 17-29 of the Public Order Act 1986. It was first established as a criminal offence in the Race Relations Act 1976. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 made publication of material that incited racial hatred an arrestable offence.

This offence refers to:

  • deliberately provoking hatred of a racial group
  • distributing racist material to the public
  • making inflammatory public speeches
  • creating racist websites on the Internet
  • inciting inflammatory rumours about an individual or an ethnic group, for the purpose of spreading racial discontent.

Laws against incitement to hatred against religions were later established under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. However this legislation is not present in Scotland.


In Australia, the Racial Hatred Act 1995 amends the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, inserting Part IIA - Offensive Behaviour Because of Race, Colour, National or Ethnic Origin. It does not, however, address the issue of incitement to racial hatred. The Australian state of Victoria has addressed the question, however, with its enactment of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001.


In Finland, agitation against an ethnic group (Finnish: Kiihottaminen kansanryhmää vastaan) is a crime according to the Finnish criminal law's (1995/578) chapter 11. §: 8.[1]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Finnish criminal law (1995/578) chapter 11. §: 10 Kiihottaminen kansanryhmää vastaan

External links[edit]