a multicultural Research Library

Making multicultural Australia

Search the complete site: ... Sitemap » ... Links to other sites »

multicultural Audio »

Category: Audio Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »


Race Hatred legislation

Mick Dodson.

Mick Dodson speaks on the problems of the Racial Hatred Act.



Date Added:

27 June 2002


Making Multicultural Australia


mov (Quicktime);

File size:



44 secs


Head of the Indigenous Law Centre, University of New South Wales, and former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

What we've got in place is not racial hatred legislation. And what we've got in place does not comply with our obligations under the Race Convention. Australia has not met its obligations by that weak-kneed piece of nonsense they call the Racial Hatred Act.

It's very important that people are entitled, as a right, to go about their business without fear of interference because of who they are. And it's very important that people are free from public vilification and public incitement to hatred. And those who indulge in that sort of behaviour ought to be dealt with by the criminal justice system.


That's what the Convention demands. That's what we as a nation promised the rest of the world that we would do. And we haven't done it. And that sort of behaviour should be resoundingly rejected by all decent Australians - that sort of vilification, incitement and hatred, those sorts of things. And I think most decent Australians do reject them. It is absurd to suggest that this in some way is an attack on the freedom of speech. If you have rights, the rights must be exercised responsibly. You can't exercise your rights to the detriment of others.

Interview for Making Multicultural Australia, 1996.