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Make a submission to the Racial Discrimination Act

The Attorney General's Department is considering changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. The changes would 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. The changes are controversial, and the Department wants to hear what you think of them.

The Human Rights Policy Branch is accepting submissions and feedback on the amendments from the public until 30 April 2014. Make a submission here, and we'll keep you updated about news on this issue.

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Here's some articles that might interest you:

Attorney-General George Brandis has defended the right of Australians to be ''bigots''.
Speaking in the Senate on Monday, Senator Brandis made the case for controversial changes to race hate laws, which News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt was in 2011 found to have breached in relation to two articles he wrote about fair-skinned aborigines. Read more from the Sydney Morning Herald.

George Brandis announces planned changes to Racial Discrimination Act
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. The Government wants to retain as an offence any action that would "intimidate another person" and create a new clause making it illegal to "vilify another person" on the basis of "race, colour or national or ethnic origin". Read more from the ABC

Why bigotry is not OK, Mr Brandis
Attorney-General, George Brandis, defending the Government's intention to repeal s18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, told the Senate Monday that "people have the right to be bigots". It appears that in George Brandis's world view, bigots are the persecuted minority whose rights need to be staunchly defended. Read more in the Canberra Times.

No case to change Racial Discrimination Act
It is frequently asserted that people can be "prosecuted" or "convicted" under the Racial Discrimination Act. It is regularly said that section 18C serves to protect hurt feelings at the expense of free speech. Neither assertions are true. Read more in the Age.

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