What is "Hate Speech", and do Australians regulate it?
One may ask, "are Australians free?" Well, according to Iranians, they too are free. But, in the eyes of Americans they are nothing but poor second class slaves.
The idea of free speech has always been a lofty concept in Australian society. But, Americans must remember that Australia is rooted in the criminal element, and as such Australia has no Bill of Rights or any constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech. After all, who would even think about giving common criminals the right to speek freely? The principle of free speech existed as a ‘silent principle’ of common law, albeit at the mercy of parliamentary sovereignty. It was 'silent' because the mere concept of freedom was considered a threat to the establishment and wardens who ran this overgrown prison colony. This tradition of repression has flowed down the generations and now festers in Australia's regulation on 'Hate Speech'.
Recent decisions of the High Court have construed an implied right to freedom of speech at least in the area of political and public affairs, when no such right acutally exists. The scope of this new implied right and the common law principle is not clear, and consequently Australians surrendered quietly to the introduction of the Commonwealth racial hatred legislation in 1995.
Australia has some of the most onerous hate-speech laws in the Anglo world. The Racial Hatred Act is the only racial vilification law with national application. The states of New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have also enacted racial vilification laws. The NSW Act is the oldest, having been enacted in 1989. The other Acts are more recent, having all been enacted in the 1990s.
A warning to all on this Board. Your derrogatory remarks about the beloved John Howard will not be taken lightly. They are in fact, 'Hate Speech'. You have been warned.