Australia: “A terrible day for free speech in this country”

by Walter Olson on September 28, 2011

Popular commentator Andrew Bolt “was found guilty Wednesday of breaking Australian discrimination law by implying that fair-skinned Aborigines chose to identify as indigenous for profit and career advancement.” A judge “said he will prohibit reproduction of the offending articles,” and “Bolt and his publisher must meet with the plaintiffs to discuss appropriate court orders that would reflect the judgment.” [AP, earlier, Volokh](& Popehat)

{ 2 trackbacks }

Australia: You Have The Fundamental Right Not To Be Offended, Insulted, Humiliated Or Intimidated | Popehat
09.28.11 at 6:57 am
Truth is Not a Defense in Australia; Judge Censors Speech About Affirmative Action and Fraud in Racial Set-Asides
09.28.11 at 4:04 pm


1 Anonymous Attorney 09.28.11 at 10:31 am

Never mind that what he said is likely TRUE… I wonder what the outer limits of white guilt are? Are we there yet?

2 mojo 09.29.11 at 3:34 pm

Publish widely on websites outside the People’s Republic of Australia.

3 Legal Eagle 09.30.11 at 3:29 am

Anonymous Attorney, actually, part of the problem was that the journalist’s article was not accurate and the judge found that the journalist had left out various relevant facts.

Insofar as he was punished simply for adopting an offensive tone, I do not think that this was warranted, and I think that the legislative provision should be repealed. Causing offence is not something the law should punish, IMO. Insofar as he was punished for publishing untrue information which damaged the reputations of the plaintiffs, I personally think this would have been better dealt with by the tort of defamation. But there were sound tactical reasons as to why the plaintiffs opted to go under the amended Racial Discrimination Act.

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