How would Donald Trump fare under Section 18C? by Paul Maley.
Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act might well have been written for Donald Trump. Section 18C, which makes it an offence to offend, insult or humiliate somebody on the basis of their race, more or less defines Trump’s entire candidacy.
On Monday, the New York Times published a compilation of Trump’s insults. The list ran to 6000 and took out two full pages.
Among Trump’s more spectacular barbs was this one, levelled against Mexican migrants: “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.’’
Trump is illegal in Australia. Free speech and all that.
I asked Professor James Allan of the Queensland University law faculty what the reaction would be if similar comments were made in Australia.
“It is almost certain that the Human Rights Commission as it’s presently constituted would, given a complaint, act,’’ Professor Allan said.
Surely a Trump-like figure would get off by citing 18D, the public-interest clause that exempts offensive comments provided they’re made reasonably and in good faith?
Doubtful, says Allan.
“If the Bolt case is anything to go by, it’d be a no-brainer. He’d lose for sure.’’ …
In short, if Trump were an Australian politician it’s likely vast tracts of his speech would be declared unlawful.