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29/05/2019

Nelson Mandela University’s Department of Public Law is hosting a Hate Bill Seminar this week that seeks to address the implications of the enactment of the Prevention and Combatting of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill.

The seminar is held in collaboration with the University of Basque Country, Spain, which also specialises in hate studies, with a UNESCO Chair in Criminal Law Prof Jon-Mirena Landa driving the collaboration from Spain.

The seminar, to be held from 30 – 31 May, will bring together representatives from South Africa and the Basque Country, including the South African Human Rights Commission, the Judiciary, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, the Hate Crimes Working Group, various non-governmental organisations and other legal academics.

Insights from Basque Country senior police officers, who are experienced in policing inter-group hate incidents, will be shared, and senior South African Police Service officers will also be in attendance.

Associate Professor and Head of the Public Law Department at Mandela University, Prof Joanna Botha says the objective of the seminar is to workshop the issues of hate crimes and hate speech and the implementation of the Hate Bill.

“We are involving a wide variety of stakeholders and aim to address many contentious inter-disciplinary issues related to the potential passing of the Hate Bill,” says Prof Botha.

“The approach is a collaborative one. We are targeting academics, legislators, policymakers, the police, judges, human rights practitioners, social workers and, among others, NGO’s working on hate, justice and reconciliation.

“Instead of working separately, our intention is to bring all stakeholders together for an interactive two-day workshop on the regulation of hate.”

The seminar will focus on how hate crime problems, such as xenophobic violence, racial murders and assaults, corrective rape, and the burning of mosques can be better addressed, as well as the criminalisation of hate speech.

Nelson Mandela University’s work is underpinned by a social justice orientation and, through the Faculty of Law, contributes to the promotion of the society promised in the Preamble to the Constitution, one of the University’s core research themes.

Contact information
Dr Joanna Botha
Head of Department: Public Law
Tel: 27 41 504 2635
Joanna.Botha@mandela.ac.za