Free Speech

Petition: Repeal section 18c and 18d of the Racial Discrimination Act

I am writing to formally submit to the Committee that Section 18C and 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act must be repealed in its entirety.

I believe 18c and 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act needs to repealed for the following reasons:

The Act reduces liberty

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right owned by all citizens and that the ability to exercise that right is crucial to intellectual discovery, learning, enlightenment, science, law, free trade and most aspects of a free society. The exercise of free speech breaches no individual’s common law rights nor can it be said to breach anyone else’s “natural rights”; their right to life, liberty and property.

In a free society, speech is moderated by custom, peer pressure, cultural norms and a variety of other social factors. In contrast, placing legislative limits on speech is a hallmark of of socialist, marxist, theocratic or fascists states … Read the rest

Identity politics, political correctness and section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

On 4 November 2016, Judge Jarrett of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia dismissed a claim brought by Cindy Prior under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) as a result of posts published on Facebook by students at the Queensland University of Technology that complained of being kicked out of an ‘Indigenous only’ computer lab. This ends a 3 year long legal saga and ordeal for the students concerned.

The facts

On 28 May 2013, some students were kicked out of a computer lab reserved for Aboriginal students.

QUT student Alex Wood posted the following comment on Facebook:

Just got kicked out of the unsigned indigenous students computer lab. QUT stopping segregation with segregation?

Another student named Jackson Powell joined in with this comment:

I wonder where the white supremacist computer lab is

A third student named Calum Thwaites denied making a Facebook post which referred to … Read the rest

Victoria Decapitates Free Speech

Three members of the United Patriot’s Front (UPF) have been charged after posting a video on Facebook depicting an alleged mock beheading in front of the Bendigo council offices. The video was filmed over a year ago and was made to protest a new mosque development in Bendigo. They face charges brought against them by the Victorian Police, including behaving in an offensive manner in public, and serious religious vilification under the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001. The Act makes it illegal to act in a way that incites or encourages hatred, serious contempt, revulsion or severe ridicule against another person or group of people because of their race and/or religion.They are due to appear in court in March and face maximum penalties of six months jail or a $6000 dollar fine.

The video shows three men beheading an effigy made of pillows that spouts fake blood, the Read the rest

18c and the cult of victimhood

In a shock turn of events, the hunter has become the hunted in the QUT 18C case. Cindy Prior having lost her case against three QUT students accused violating 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act has now been ordered to pay $200,000+ in legal costs. Cindy Prior who had been employed by QUT in its indigenous computer lab had accused several students of violating 18c when after being kicked out of the computer lab for not being indigenous they complained on a Facebook group saying, “QUT is fighting segregation with segregation”, “Where’s the white supremacist lab?” and “ITT niggers”. Since the incident, the complaint has gone to the Australian Human Rights Commission, several students settled the case paying $5000 each and Cindy Prior has been on stress leave from her job ever since. This case that continues three years after the initial complaint should demonstrate why the courts are not … Read the rest

LibertyWorks Submission to Joint Enquiry on Free Speech

9 December 2016

Committee Secretary
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
PO Box 6100,
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Committee Members

Submission to enquiry on Freedom of Speech in Australia

LibertyWorks is a registered not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Queensland. We advocate for a reduction in government control over citizens liberty and have since our inception held grave concerns over the limitations that the Racial Discrimination Act and the procedures of the Australian Human Rights Commission (“AHRC”) places on free speech in Australia.

We refer to the Terms of Reference of the enquiry and call for the full repeal of Sections 18C and 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act (‘the Act”). Our rationale is as follows:

The Act reduces liberty

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right owned by all citizens and that the ability to exercise that right is crucial to intellectual discovery, learning, enlightenment, science, law, free Read the rest

The argument against anti-defamation laws

Most people accept anti-defamation laws as a legitimate restriction on free speech. For a starters, the laws have always existed so it just seems normal to keep them. If we remove them then society would be plunged into chaos as everybody accused everybody of being a paedophile, a thief, or a murderous nutcase… and if those rumours are believed then they could cause lots of damage to the victims, such as loss of work and/or loss of friends. And that’s just not fair.

Perhaps. But before we give up on fully free speech we should fully understand the arguments.

Defamation involves (1) somebody lying about you, leading to (2) other people holding a bad opinion about you, leading to (3) a bad outcome for you because of lack of trade. None of these things are nice. But they are all voluntary and, all else being equal, none of them should … Read the rest

We Need To Take “Privilege” Out Of Our Public Policy Discourse

Writer Benjamin Law used the final Q&A for the year to claim discussion around 18C was just our privileged class claiming to be censored.

Among the chattering class, there is a prevailing belief that they are on the side of the disadvantaged and against entrenched privilege. A cursory glance of the major events of 2016 would tell you that that is no longer true. Nor can it be said that defence against 18C is a defence against the privileged.

The argument that 18C is needed to give power to the powerless has been blown out of the water with the QUT case. It saw a court case seven QUT students for comments they made on a Facebook forum about being kicked out of an indigenous only computer lab.

Four of the students settled out of court, but the three students — Alex Wood, Callum Thwaites and Jackson Powell — were Read the rest

Human Rights Commission delenda est.

The 2nd Century BC Roman senator Cato the Elder would end every speech with, ‘Carthago Delenda est.’. Its english translation is, ‘furthermore Carthage must be destroyed’. Rome had defeated Carthage in the two previous Punic Wars, but, both times Carthage quickly rebuilt its strength and continued to pose a threat to Rome. Plutarch wrote that, “Cato the Elder one time famously drop a Libyan fig in the Senate, as he shook out the folds of his toga, and then, as the senators admired its size and beauty, said that the country where it grew was only three days sail from Rome.” Cato the Elder’s campaign eventually lead to Rome destroying Carthage for the last and final time and as myth would have it salting the ground so nothing would grow there ever again.

Liberty loving Australians have been fighting their own war against a tyrannical empire of sorts – the Read the rest

QUT case dismissed: 18C not off the hook

The dismissal of Cindy Prior’s case against three QUT students on Thursday drew sighs of relief from freedom lovers across Australia. Justice Jarrett ruled that the Facebook comments made by the students did not represent a breach of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Many though are taking this opportunity to say ‘look, the case has been dismissed, therefore 18C is reasonable and nothing to worry about’. But nothing could be farther from the truth. The dismissal of the case only highlights the problems inherent in 18C.

Even though ultimately the students have been exonerated of any wrongdoing in the eyes of the law, it took three years to get to this stage. In a long drawn out case like this one, the punishment is in the process, and these students and their families have had three long years of stress and worry over their financial futures, not Read the rest