Submission to the Inquiry into the operation of the Legislation Review Act 1987 (NSW)

The Society recently contributed to the inquiry into the operation of the Legislation Review Act 1987 (NSW). A copy of the submission is available online here and is extracted below.


The New South Wales Society of Labor Lawyers (‘the Society’) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Inquiry into the operation of the Legislation Review Act 1987 (NSW) (‘Legislation Review Act’).

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The NSW Society of Labor Lawyers has provided a submission to Commonwealth Government's Exposure Draft of of the Freedom of speech (Repeal of S. 18C) Bill 2014

In summary, the submission argues: 

  1. There is no compelling case for any change to section 18 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (the Act), particularly in the form of the Government’s proposals. 
  2. The changes proposed by the Government would result in bad law, effectively denuding the Act of most of its weaponry to combat racial hate speech. 
  3. There is no evidence to suggest that public discourse is adversely affected by the current section 18C, and the accompanying exemption in section 18D that allows for (otherwise racially vilifying) comments that are made reasonably and in good faith. 
  4. The ‘Bolt case’ provides no rationale for a change to the legislation, given the Court found Mr Bolt’s articles were not written and published reasonably and in good faith
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