Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Haynes, A, Schweppe, J
2016 May
The Globalisation of Hate: Internationalising Hate Crime
Internationalising Hate Crime and the Problem of the Intractable State: The Case of Ireland
Optional Fields
hate crime, hate studies, Ireland, international law

The law can, ‘by its silences’ exclude groups from protection afforded to others, such as through the failure to include characteristics like sexual orientation or gender in hate crime legislation, leaving the unnamed groups vulnerable to hate crime and to the ‘ideological effect of indicating that they are unworthy of protection, and therefore legitimate victims’ (Perry 2001: 198). In legislating for those who are recognised as a ‘legitimate’ victim, the State, Perry argues, ‘tells a story’ with the moral that it is ‘acceptable to assault the legislatively unnamed victim’ (2001: 207). She suggests that this approach creates a legislative justification for the ‘violent marginalization’ of excluded groups, and in the context of the exclusion of gender, sends the message that women are seen as ‘individual rather than collective victims’ (2001: 210). This exclusion then permeates the organs of the State, leaving those who are isolated by hate crime legislation unprotected by those tasked with defending them (Perry 2001). Certainly, such exclusions can be understood to construct some victims and some communities as less worthy of protection than others.

What then of a system where there is no hate crime legislation? In Ireland, the only relevant legislation prohibits hate speech, is drawn narrowly and has limited (if any) effect (ECRI 2002 and 2007). Nonetheless, the Irish State has thus far rejected calls from both domestic and international sources to introduce legislation which would recognise the hate element of other offences. From the perspective of victims and commonly targeted communities, we argue, this absence of hate crime legislation can also be understood as a legislative ‘permission to hate’.

This chapter will examine the character, effectiveness and interrelationship of international and national critiques of Ireland’s legislative ‘permission to hate’. Ireland has been intractable in its position that the system is fully capable of addressing hate crime, while lacking a statutory provision requiring it to do so. Research recently completed by the authors of this chapter puts pay to this notion, finding that the hate element of crime is effectively ‘disappeared’ at multiple points in the criminal justice process (Haynes et al 2015). Nonetheless, we will show that neither internal nor international pressure to address the legislative lacuna have been successful, raising questions regarding the possibility of globalising responses to hate crime in the face of seemingly impassive state intransigence. 

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