AIJAC welcomes ‘critically important’ Victorian report into anti-vilification laws and recommendation to ban Nazi symbols
Mar 3, 2021 | AIJAC
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) welcomes the report by the Victorian parliamentary committee into the effectiveness of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (RRTA).
In particular, AIJAC is pleased that the committee has recommended lowering the legal threshold for incitement-based vilification and comments introducing a harm-based vilification provision to make it easier to substantiate a complaint.
AIJAC’s Executive Director Colin Rubenstein said, “At a time of rising racist extremism, the Committee’s review is critically important to ensure that Victoria’s anti-vilification laws become more effective, which in turn helps foster a more harmonious multicultural society.”
AIJAC also supports in principle the recommendation to call on the Victorian Government “to establish a criminal offence that prohibits the display of symbols of Nazi ideology, including the Nazi swastika with considered exceptions to the prohibition.”
AIJAC’s Director of International and Community Affairs Jeremy Jones affirmed, “AIJAC supports the Committee’s recommendation to ban Nazi symbols where they are used with the intention of promoting hatred.”
“The Nazi swastika is a symbol of immense evil. Giving the police power to act where it is being used for racist and extremist purposes will complement other measures aimed at combating racist organisations”, he noted.
“Legal action is part of a holistic approach to combatting racism, which also must include educational programs and affirmation of democratic values,” Mr Jones concluded.