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Hate speech laws violate constitution: Rights tribunal
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that Section 13, Canada's much-criticized human rights hate speech law, is an unconstitutional violation of the Charter right to free expression because of its penalty provisions.
The decision released Wednesday morning by tribunal chair Athanasios Hadjis appears to strip the Canadian Human Rights Commission of its controversial legal mandate to pursue hate on the Internet, which it has strenuously defended against complaints of censorship.
It also marks the first major failure of Section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, an anti-hate law that was conceived in the 1960s to target racist telephone hotlines, then expanded in 2001 to the include the entire Internet, and for the last decade used almost exclusively by one complainant, activist Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman.
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