Promoting Justice /
Protecting Rights

Defining public duties to tackle incitement to hatred whilst respecting free expression: reviewing the legal & policy framework

Defining public duties to tackle incitement to hatred whilst respecting free expression:

reviewing the legal & policy framework


A conference hosted by the Equality Coalition in partnership with the George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at QUB, to address the ‘threshold’ and ‘intervention’ questions increasingly defined in human rights law as to when public authorities can or must act against speech and cultural expression in order to protect the rights of others.


Friday 13th October 2017 Canada Room, Queens University Belfast

Co-organised by the Equality Coalition

For the Agenda click here- Final-Agenda-countering-incitement-to-hatred-conference-13-October-2017

For Briefing Note on the Conference click here – Briefing-note-incitement-to-hatred-conference-October-2017

 Opening 9.45
Equality Coalition Co-Conveners Patricia McKeown, UNISON and Daniel Holder, CAJ;
Welcome, former Justice Minister Claire Sugden MLA

10.00 PANEL 1: Harms and Impacts of Hate Expression: Chair Patricia McKeown
Gavin Boyd, the Rainbow Project; Ellen Murray, Sail; Ola Sobieraj, Stronger Together Network; Anna Lo, former MLA and Director of Chinese Welfare Association; Dessie Donnelly, Participation and Practice of Rights; Dr Rachel Killean, School of Law, QUB

Presentation: Dr Robbie McVeigh – Independent Researcher: Equality Coalition research report ‘Incitement to Hatred in Northern Ireland’;


11.35 Session 2: Legal frameworks and the European Context
Judit Geller, Senior Lawyer, European Roma Rights Centre: anti-Roma parading and police intervention – the case law of the European Court of Human Rights;
Jeremy McBride, Barrister, Monckton Chambers, London and External Expert, ECRI: ECRI (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance) General Policy Recommendation 15 on Combating Hate Speech;
Prof Jon-Mirena Landa, Director of the Chair of Human Rights and Public Authorities, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU: Incitement to hatred in Spain: the risk of political censorship;

12.30 Panel II Public Authorities – response to morning session – Chair Professor Colin Harvey, School of Law
Sinead Simpson, Head of Crime and Community Safety Branch Department of Justice;
Paul Giannasi, Head of the Cross-Government Hate Crime Programme, London;
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI, speaker TBC);

(Questions and Answers)

1.15pm Lunch

2pm PANEL III: Panel of Political Parties: Moderator Professor Kieran McEvoy
Mike Nesbit MLA, Ulster Unionist; Claire Sugden MLA (independent); Gerry Kelly MLA Sinn Féin (tbc); Clare Bailey MLA (Green Party); SDLP (tbc); Alliance (tbc); DUP (tbc).

3pm Workshops
1. A Fresh Start for Parades, Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition – factoring in countering hate expression and the rights of others?
Chair: Colin Harvey, QUB
Panel: Dr Dominic Bryan, QUB; Sophie Long, QUB, Mark Thompson, Relatives for Justice, Deirdre Crawford, NI Housing Executive

2. Countering Incitement to hatred on grounds of gender: a missing category
Chair: Patricia McKeown, Unison
Panel: Kellie Turtle Women’s Sector Lobbyist, Clare Bailey MLA, Elaine Crory, Hollaback;

3. Free religious expression & countering homophobia, drawing the line
Chair: Clare Moore, ICTU
Panel: Ciaran Moynagh, solicitor, Grainne Taggart, Amnesty; Dr Gail Neil, Ulster University;

4. What is the broader role of public authorities? Public funding and intervention
Chair: Fidelma O’Hagan, CAJ
Panel: Paul Noonan, Equality Commission; Paul Jordan, Community Relations Council; Seán Brady, Participation and Practice of Rights (PPR).

4.15pm Report back from Workshops and Final Panel


To book a place contact Emma Patterson on – Please highlight any dietary/access requirements.

There is no charge for attendance.

The Law Society has advised delegates may be able to claim 5 General Group Study CPD hours for attendance at this event

The Bar Library will award 5.5 CPD points for members

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