Public Threats of Violence or Incitement to Violence

Publicly Threatening or Inciting Violence

Section 93Z Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

In NSW if someone intentionally or recklessly by a public act, threatens or incites violence against another person or a group of persons because of their:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Intersex status
  • HIV/AIDS status

they are guilty of an offence under the criminal law.

Example 1

Example 2

"Inciting violence" means saying or doing things that urge other people to do acts of violence.

A "public act" includes any way of communicating to the public. It includes:

- Speaking, writing, displaying notices, playing recorded material, broadcasting;

- Social media and other electronic methods of communication;

- Any other acts the public can see. For example, actions, gestures, wearing or displaying clothing, signs, flags, emblems and insignia;

- Spreading or sending anything to the public.

A "public act" can happen on private land.

In Australia free speech is the right to hold opinions without interference and the right to freedom of expression in any medium.

In NSW there are laws that limit free speech to protect 'public order' and to ensure the peaceful and effective functioning of society.

These laws make it unlawful to:

  • Intentionally or recklessly threaten violence or incite violence against another
  • Vilify someone
  • Discriminate against another person

Anyone can make a report to the NSW Police.  You do not have to be a victim to report.

To make a report:

  • When it is happening: Call Triple Zero 000
  • At other times: Call the Police Assistance Line 131 444
  • Or visit your nearest police station.  Follow this link to choose the police area command you are in.  Click on the link, then find the police station closest to you.

No. There is no time limit.

Report an incident to the police

  • When it is happening: Call Triple Zero 000
  • At other times: Call the Police Assistance Line 131 444
  • Or go to your nearest police station.
  • Follow this link to choose the police area command you are in.  Click on the link, then find the police station closest to you.

If you report an incident to NSW Police, they will ask who was responsible for it.

A person will only be charged under section 93Z if there is enough evidence to prove the offence beyond reasonable doubt.

If you tell the police who was responsible, it will help their investigation.

The police will investigate. They will:

  1. decide whether to charge the offender with a substantive offence, for example, assault. The police will prosecute the offender for assault. If this happens, the incitement to violence or threat of violence will be considered during sentencing of the offender as an aggravating circumstance of the offence.

    Or

  2. send a brief of evidence to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) for them to approve the person being charged. The ODPP must approve a prosecution of offences under section 93Z.

Sometimes what happened will not be "publicly threatening or inciting violence" under section 93Z of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). It might be vilification or discrimination under the Anti-discrimination Act 1977 (NSW).

If it is vilification or discrimination, contact Anti-Discrimination NSW:

  1. To make an enquiry on their free, confidential enquiry telephone service:
    1. Phone: 02 9268 5544
    2. Free call: 1800 670 812
    3. or Email adbcontact@justice.nsw.gov.au.

      Or

  2. To make a complaint:
    1. Phone on 9268 5544
    2. Toll free on 1800 670 812
    3. or Email: complaintsadb@justice.nsw.gov.au

    Complaints must be made in writing. The complaint form is found here.

Working out which law(s) apply can be hard.

For legal help Ph. 1300 888 529  

or visit our website:  www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/get-legal-help/find-a-service

Legal Aid NSW Logo

OR

www.clcnsw.org.au/find-legal-help

Community Legal Centres NSW