Statement on proposed Racial Hatred Act amendents

The following is AIJAC’s comment, in full, given to the Australian Financial Review [no link available] and the Guardian Australia on November 8 in response to their enquiring about the reports (November 8) concerning the Government’s plans to amend the Racial Hatred Act:

“We believe the Federal Racial Hatred Act has, overall, contributed constructively to social cohesion and harmony in Australia, with several significant matters adjudicated and settled over the past 17 years.

“While the government made clear its concern with aspects of the law prior to the election, this was in the context of extensive consultations and review of the Act’s effectiveness prior to making changes – something we would welcome.

“To pre-empt the outcome of such a review risks giving succour to racists, which is especially undesirable in the wake of a number of recent public incidents highlighting the continued prevalence of acts of racist victimisation in Australia, and returning victims of racism to a situation where they were left without any legal recourse at a national level .”