ECTR Presentation in the House of Commons in London

On the 14th October 2015 at the House of Commons in London, the ECTR has organized a presentation of the ECTR Model Law on the Promotion of Tolerance and Suppression of Intolerance.

Agenda:

Welcome

  • Ireneusz Bil, ECTR Secretary General
  • Matthew Offord, MP

Introduction to Model Law

  • Prof. Yoram Dinstein, ECTR Legal Expert

Panel Discussion:

  • Tim Montgomerie, (Moderator)
  • Prof. Yoram Dinstein, ECTR Legal Expert & bull;Prof. Rein Mullerson, ECTR Legal Expert
  • David Anderson QC, Human Rights and European Law Expert 
  • Maajid Navaz, co-founder and chairman of Quilliam,

The auditorium included senior members of House of Commons and Lords; senior officials from the Home Office, Department of Education; journalists, representatives of Embassies, NGOs, think tanks and academics.

The Model Law states there is no place for tolerance of the intolerant” in modern society. It seeks to introduce for the first time into law novel provisions including stronger safeguards against hate speech, the introduction of Group Libel, specific mention of anti-Semitism, outlawing of Holocaust denial, educational initiatives from primary school upwards promoting tolerance, diversity and respect.

Tensions between communities, growing institutional distrust and nonsensical legal red tape mean that it is vital to take innovative legal steps to address this very real and growing threat. It is time to legislate against acts that are intolerable, but for which we currently have no recourse. Another important and unique feature of the Model Law is the provision that schools from primary level upwards should teach courses on tolerance, diversity and respect. The UK Government’s recent push to counter extremism in universities and colleges acknowledges the significance of education in this struggle, but will not be far-reaching enough on its own to have the necessary long term impact. It was emphasized in the discussion, that adoption of the Model Law shall not be seen as a panacea for all problems stemming from a rising wave of extremism. Law can always be only part of a more coherent response to problems. But adopting laws can also not be excluded from tackling the problems of extremism.

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