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What will changes to the Racial Discrimination Act mean?

What will changes to the Racial Discrimination Act mean?

Changes to the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act.

The Attorney General George Brandis has proposed changes to the laws on racial vilification. There are many views being put forward about these proposals, see for example this article in the Australian or this in the Guardian.

The Human Rights Law Centre strongly criticised proposed new racial vilification legislation: ‘These changes would significantly water down important laws that protect against the harm that flows from racial vilification,’ said HRLC Executive Director Hugh de Kretser.

The Government wants to repeal four sections of the Act, including 18C, which makes it unlawful for someone to publicly 'offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate’ a person or a group of people. Senator Brandis has stated that these words describe 'hurt feelings’ and that it is not the Government’s role to ban conduct 'merely because it might hurt the feelings of others’.

See Hot Topics 86: Human Rights for more background on human rights law in Australia