ALHR Welcomes Government Backdown on Race Discrimination Changes

August 5, 2014

ALHR welcomes the Government’s decision to drop proposed changes to s 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Nathan Kennedy, President of ALHR, said: “these changes were unpopular with the majority of Australians and inconsistent with international human rights law.  The Prime Minister rightly acknowledged that the proposed changes would have undermined Australia’s social cohesion.”

Mr Kennedy said: “Free speech and freedom from racial vilification are complementary rights, and it is possible to achieve an appropriate regulatory balance between them.  It is difficult to see on what grounds ‘free speech’ for some can be elevated to a status whereby it trumps the right of others to live their lives free from intimidation and harassment on the grounds of race.”

ALHR’s full submission to the Attorney-General’s consultation can be accessed at