Vilification laws will necessarily restrict some people’s right of free speech in order to protect the right of other people to be free from discrimination and to prevent threats to their physical safety. Finding the appropriate balance between these competing rights is often controversial. In a submission to the NSW Legislative Council Law and Justice Committee inquiry into the effectiveness of NSW racial vilification law, the Human Rights Law Centre said NSW racial vilification laws strike the right balance in protecting free expression but could be strengthened to ensure they more effectively protect individuals from racist hate speech.
The international community has accepted that it is important to combat racist hate speech as part of the “special duties and responsibilities” that attach to the right of freedom of expression.
A HRLC media release about the submission can be found here.