High Court challenge risk for flawed 18C

High Court challenge risk for flawed 18C, by Chris Merritt.

Legal academics have warned that section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is unconstitutional and needs to be repealed and replaced.

Academics Lorraine Finlay and Augusto Zimmermann ­believe the flaws in section 18C are so extensive the changes proposed by the government would merely reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of a High Court challenge. …

Dr Zimmermann said the ­implied freedom meant issues about race that were of a political nature should still be expressed, regardless of whether they are controversial. If 18C remained unchanged, he said it would indicate federal politicians did not understand the requirements of the Constitution. “No constitutional protection can be afforded to this legislation. There are no grounds on which this law can be constitutionally valid,” he said. …

At the moment, 18C makes it unlawful to do anything that leads to people feeling offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated because of their race, colour or national or ethnic background. …

They believe 18C should be replaced with a criminal law that targets the intent to incite racial hatred or contempt that creates an imminent danger of physical harm to people or property.

Exactly.