keywords: Section 18C

  • AUSTRALIA

    Religious freedom in secular Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 December 2018
    15 Comments

    Let's hope all members of parliament can agree to the insertion of such a clause in the legislation providing assurance to religious educators that they can continue to teach their doctrine in good faith while assuring all students and their families that they will not suffer any detriment while sitting at the feet of religious educators.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The empty platitudes of Australian human rights

    • Kate Galloway
    • 25 October 2017
    5 Comments

    Within the one week, the UN announced Australia would be joining the Human Rights Council, and the UN Human Rights Committee criticised Australia for 'chronic non-compliance'. The dissonance of these two stories calls into question Australia's commitment to human rights, even as it proclaims its global human rights leadership.

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  • RELIGION

    Let's amend 18C to say what it means

    • Frank Brennan
    • 14 March 2017
    24 Comments

    The debate over section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (18C) has gone on for far too long. It's time to bring it to a close. To date, I have been silent in the present debate, in part because I was a critic of such legal provisions when they were first proposed in 1992 and again in 1994. I have since been convinced that a provision like 18C could be designed to target racial vilification, leaving offensive insults beyond the reach of the law in a robust democracy committed to freedom of speech.

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  • MEDIA

    Pub test is a kangaroo court for victims of racial hate

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 March 2017
    10 Comments

    Arguments for repealing 18C ignore the symbolic force of law in an imperfect society in which we live. In public life the One Nation Party, which is able to exert some influence on legislation in a fragmented parliament, regularly criticises Muslims. These views are also retailed by commentators in some mainstream media. They increase the anxiety of immigrants from Muslim nations. In such a context any weakening of 18C will be seen as the declaration of open season against such groups.

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  • RELIGION

    Ensuring justice for all after the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 February 2017
    3 Comments

    The commission's forensic scrutiny of past actions of church officials in no way constitutes an interference with the freedom of religion. Its spotlight is to be welcomed, provided only that it is shone on a truly representative sample of all institutions which have been found wanting and provided the same light filter is applied to all institutions. I do however have a problem with the commission making findings on issues like the want of compassion when those findings are made only against a Church.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    We are all bigots

    • Justin Glyn
    • 19 January 2015
    18 Comments

    According to large sections of the media, 'we' are all Charlie now. While it is absolutely right that we stand with the victims and their families in grief and outrage at the terrible acts that took place in Paris earlier this month, predictably we have been told that we should, as a corollary, also defend people’s rights to say what they like, no matter how hurtful it may be. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's Team Australia must include jobless young Muslims

    • Michael Mullins
    • 11 August 2014
    18 Comments

    The Prime Minister's Team Australia campaign will only work with policies of social inclusion. The Budget’s harsh and divisive welfare rules will drive young Muslim unemployed into the hands Islamic radicals. Church welfare agencies have suggested a solution by way of an independent entitlements commission to ensure welfare payments are fair. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott’s temporary reprieve for hate speech prohibition

    • Moira Rayner
    • 08 August 2014
    4 Comments

    Quite rightly the Section 18C repeal bill was seen to remove all limits on ‘freedom of speech’ without regard to the vulnerability of those targeted. Andrew Bolt was infuriated, Senator Brandis lost face and his new Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson was ‘disturbed’ by the bill being shelved. But the PM is a pragmatist.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    South Sudan warning for Australia's hate speech champions

    • Michael Mullins
    • 28 April 2014
    9 Comments

    In South Sudan, hate speech broadcast on a local FM radio station earlier this month led to the slaughter of hundreds of innocent civilians in a massacre based on ethnicity. Local UN officials are now calling on authorities to 'to take all measures possible to prevent the airing of such messages'. Meanwhile in Australia, the Government is attempting to give legal sanction to the kind of hate speech that incited to the South Sudan massacre.

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  • MEDIA

    Racial hatred laws 20 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 April 2014
    5 Comments

    In 1994, a year before the Parliament enacted the present section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, I wrote in Eureka Street: 'At this time, in this part of the world, thought-police armed with criminal sanctions are not the answer' to racial discrimination. Senator Brandis has now circulated a proposal to amend the existing provisions. What he has produced is the racial hatred law you have when you don't want a racial hatred law.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human Rights, the national interest and the will of the people

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 April 2014
    1 Comment

    'Whether or not we have a bill of rights, much of our human rights jurisprudence remains partial, failing to extend rights equally to all. Once we investigate much of the contemporary discussion about human rights, we find that often the intended recipients of rights do not include all human beings but only those with certain capacities or those who share sufficient common attributes with the decision makers. It is always at the edges that there is real work for human rights discourse to do.' Frank Brennan's Blackfriars Lecture

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Freedom of expression for the rest of us

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 04 April 2014
    6 Comments

    How ironic that, even as Attorney General Brandis ensures the rights of 'bigots', the rest of us find our own rights under threat. Liberal state governments continue to roll out laws that affect the more marginalised and less privileged among us. Victoria's new 'anti-protest' laws and Queensland's 'anti-bikie' laws threaten public protest and assembly, which for most of us is how we exercise our freedom of expression.

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