Friday, July 25, 2014

Human Rights - Free Speech

They can't have it both ways. Either hate speech is proscribed or free speech is enabled. But the situation where a family calls for the death of their daughter who has committed no crime in Australia should have whatever law is prevailing applied.
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Australian Human Rights Commission
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24 Jul 2014

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Final program released: sedition, online harassment on agenda for Free Speech 2014 Symposium



Free speech, online harassment and sedition are up for discussion at a symposium addressed by Federal Attorney-General George Brandis QC and shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC on 7 August 2014.

Other speakers at the Free Speech 2014 Symposium include Dr Monika Bickert, who is Head of Global Content Policy, Facebook; Dr Gary Johns from the Australian Institute for Progress; Trish Hepworth from the Australian Digital Alliance; Chris Berg from the Institute of Public Affairs; Michael Sexton SC, Solicitor-General for New South Wales; and Senator David Leyonhjelm.

They’ll be joined by the President of the Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs; the Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson; the Australian Law Reform Commission President, Professor Rosalind Croucher; and Bret Walker SC from St James’ Hall Chambers.

“The symposium will bring together key interests in academia, civil society, the legal community and business to put all free speech issues on the table,” Commissioner Wilson said.

“The importance of free speech in our liberal democracy has been taken for granted; it is time to reassert this important human right. The symposium will help us identify where there are encroachments on free speech and will enable us to build a new alliance on the need for free speech reform.

“The Free Speech 2014 Symposium will identify the issues and provide a roadmap for reform.”
Commissioner Wilson said Australia has a good track record on free speech compared to many countries, “but we cannot afford to be complacent. It is essential to periodically take stock of where restrictions have emerged.”

Commissioner Wilson said Australia has legitimate restrictions on free speech but these should be applied consistently, not selectively.

“We need a fully informed debate about free speech, including the role played by non-legislative measures that help civilise conduct while avoiding the imposition of censorship,” Commissioner Wilson said.

The Free Speech 2014 Symposium is at the Aerial Function Centre, Jones Street, Ultimo on 7 August 2014.

Registrations and more information: www.humanrights.gov.au/freespeech2014

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