What is the legal recourse when faced with hate speech?

| 29/06/2017

Are there any laws covering hate speech in the Cayman Islands?

Auntie’s answer: This was another question for the Human Rights Commission (HRC), though a representative again cautioned that their answer can only be given in general terms and they cannot offer any legal advice.

The HRC official explained that hate speech is not legally defined in the Cayman Islands, but pointed to related laws.

We look first to the Bill of Rights of the Cayman Islands Constitution, specifically Section 11, which guarantees freedom of expression. The HRC explained: “This is a qualified right which means that the right can only be lawfully restricted or taken away by the government in certain broadly defined circumstances.” The list of criteria setting out those circumstances indicate when the government can lawfully interfere with or restrict that right, “balancing those rights against the rights and interests of others”.

In addition, the Penal Code (2017 Revision) comes into play. Sections 88-88C “create various criminal offences which may potentially be committed by individuals using hate speech”.

The HRC gave as an example Section 88B, which provides that “A person who…Uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour…within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress commits an offence…”

The official added, “Importantly, the same section also provides an explicit defence for a person who proves that their conduct was reasonable.

“The exact nature of what is said, when and with what intent, will all have a significant bearing on whether something comes within the broad definition of ‘hate speech’ (which is not legally defined in the Cayman Islands) and whether any law is contravened.”

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Category: Ask Auntie, Human Rights Questions

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Get a life snowflake.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My teenagers told me they hated me all the time, I got over it in 4.2 seconds

  3. Anonymous says:

    A pathetic sign of where society is going. Unless speech is intended to result in violence or crime then it should not be a crime. We are too soft.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You can be offended. Nothing happens.
    What the hell do you want? Compensation because someone insulted your religion, sexuality, political opinion?
    Grow a damned pair. We all get stick from time to time. No one agrees with me on a lot of stuff. Big deal. I don’t agree with them.
    I will not be taking you to court. What kind of namby-pamby, bullshit entitlement culture are we trying to foist on the gullible public here?

    Be offended. Nothing happens. If you have a superior argument, use it.
    Bloody snowflakes.

  5. Sharkey says:

    Turn the other speech.. Remember that you can’t fight fire .with fire .

  6. Anonymous says:

    Who cares. Suck it up.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Can see why KT and her page is so defensive of this. Clearly someone inquiring about her constant spread of hate. Lol! Jokes! The only difference is they hide behind a computer screen. Don’t have the balls to do anything but…. Pathetic.