Racial vilification

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Racial vilification is the term in the legislation of Australia that refers to a public act that encourages or incites others to hate people because of their race, nationality, country of origin, colour or ethnic origin.[citation needed] Public acts of this type are illegal according to e.g. the Racial Vilification Act 1996 of South Australia.

Laws forbidding vilification have been criticised on the claimed grounds that the definition of "vilification" is too broad and too vague, amounting to an illegitimate restriction on freedom of speech. Such laws have also been claimed to be unevenly enforced.

In 2006 a controversy sparkled over a court decision not to prosecute an Australian aborigine girl according to the Vilification Act for calling someone "white slut". Critics classified this as an example of reverse discrimination, while Attorney-General of Western Australia Jim McGinty commented that "The laws are not about cracking down on name calling. What they are about is racial hatred in the most vile and serious of manners." [1]

See also[edit]


  • Allen, David, Gibson, John, "The issue of racial vilification", Law Institute Journal, (1990) 64 No 8, pp. 709–713
  1. ^ "McGinty backs race case dismissal", Sunday Times, September 15, 2006