‘[A] Negation of Australia's Fundamental Values’: Sentencing Prejudice-Motivated Crime

33 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2013 Last revised: 29 Sep 2014

See all articles by Gail Mason

Gail Mason

The University of Sydney Law School

Andrew Dyer

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: April 3, 2013

Abstract

Since 2003, three Australian jurisdictions - New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Victoria - have codified the common law rule that a motive of prejudice against and/or hatred for a group of people is an aggravating factor at sentencing. In this article, we analyse the courts’ interpretation of these new provisions. In particular, we consider the evidence regarded by the courts as sufficient proof of a motive of prejudice or group hate beyond reasonable doubt, and the groups that have been held to be contemplated by these provisions. We argue that while there is much consistency in judicial constructions of the scope of these provisions, enabling the identification of common features to cases where the provisions have been enlivened, some interpretations fail to promote their purpose, raising challenges for this rapidly emerging area of sentencing law.

Keywords: hate crime law, sentencing, hate crime, prejudiced motive

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Mason, Gail F. and Dyer, Andrew, ‘[A] Negation of Australia's Fundamental Values’: Sentencing Prejudice-Motivated Crime (April 3, 2013). Melbourne University Law Review, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 871-914, 2013; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 13/21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2244666

Gail F. Mason (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Andrew Dyer

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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