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Anti-vilification laws should be strengthened

Anti-vilification laws should be strengthened

By LIV Media

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Reforms recommended by Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee to expand anti-vilification protections have been welcomed by the Law Institute of Victoria.

LIV President Tania Wolff said the reforms would strengthen Victoria’s human rights protections.

The report recommends the expansion of anti-vilification protections to cover attributes such as gender, disability, sexual orientation gender identity or expression, sex characteristics, HIVS/AIDS status and personal association in addition to race and religion.

“The report signals that there should be no tolerance in our community for taunts, slurs or aggression towards individuals with these attributes” Ms Wolff said.

“Broader laws will allow more people to call out hate speech.”

“We support new legislation to ensure that hate speech is categorically rejected as being contrary to our community values and support inclusion and a sense of belonging within our diverse communities,” Ms Wolff said.

She said that previous laws aimed against racial and religious vilification were underutilised.

The recommendations would lower the legal threshold to incitement-based vilification and introduces a harm-based provision which means that the focus will shift to the victim and the harms they experience as result of the vilifying conduct.

The LIV urges the government to adopt all of the Committee’s recommendations especially ensuring that education of these laws is targeted to communities who are affected by vilification.

By educating Victorians, our community will be more aware of their rights and it will also prevent this type of conduct occurring.

The LIV looks forward to continuing to work towards the implementation of the key recommendations and promoting a strong human rights culture in Victoria.

The LIV made two submissions to the inquiry and appeared at the public hearing:

LIV's first submission: https://www.liv.asn.au/getattachment/Staying-Informed/Submissions/submissions/January/LIV-calls-to-lower-the-bar-for-Anti-Vilification-L/20200131_ALHR_SUB_Anti-Vilification.pdf.aspx

Second submission: https://www.liv.asn.au/getattachment/Staying-Informed/Submissions/submissions/June-2020/LIV-submits-supplementary-submission-to-Victoria%E2%80%99s/20200617_LET_LIV_PRES_Anti-VilificationCOVID19.pdf.aspx

Public hearing transcript: https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/lsic-LA/Inquiry_into_Anti-Vilification_Protections_/Transcripts/2020.03.11/11.03.2020_-_FINAL_TRANSCRIPT_-_LIV_-_AVP_Inquiry.pdf


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