Would a Charter of Human Rights promote disastrous religious vilification laws ala Victoria?

A very encouraging follow up to the Human Rights Consultation process is the address to be delivered today by the Consultations’ Chair, Frank Brennan.

One of the concerns I raised at the Hobart public consultation was whether a Charter of Rights would result in the introduction of religious vilification laws as in Victoria with its consequent curtailing of free speech and social divisiveness.

He (Frank Brennan) decided to speak out after people, including church leaders, turned up at consultations his team was conducting around the country to express concern “that a national charter of rights might entail a national religious vilification law similar to that in Victoria”.

“The application of the Victorian religious vilification law has hindered rather than helped religious and social harmony,” he said. “These laws cannot be administered with sufficient transparency and neutrality.”

I am very encouraged that the National Human Rights Consultation is listening and responding to the public consultations. And in this particular case, I am encouraged by the response in the Chair’s address.

See Cynthia Banham’s report ‘Rights charter will not lead to vilification law, Jesuit says’

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