‘[A] Negation of Australia's Fundamental Values’: Sentencing Prejudice-Motivated Crime
33 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2013 Last revised: 29 Sep 2014
Date Written: April 3, 2013
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: Suggested Citation