No Offence Intended: Why 18C is Wrong, an upcoming book by Joshua Forrester, Lorraine Finlay, and Augusto Zimmermann.
From its inception, section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 has been controversial. This law makes unlawful any act reasonably likely to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people because of their race, colour, nationality or ethnicity. Serious concerns have been raised about s 18C’s effect on freedom of expression.
In this book, the authors argue that s 18C is too broad and too vague to be constitutional. They argue that relevant international treaties do not support the sweeping scope of s 18C. Further, they argue that s 18C’s breadth and complexity impermissibly infringes the freedom of communication about government and political matters implied from the Commonwealth Constitution. In the course of their argument, the authors also cover issues relevant to Australia’s common law legal tradition and liberal democratic heritage. This book makes a timely contribution to the fight for freedom of expression in Australia.