This submission concerns the problem of harms caused by vilification and proposes ways to prevent or deal with those harms and those who cause them. It begins with the 2019–20 parliamentary inquiry—the Legislative Assembly Legal and Social Issues Committee’s Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections—and its report on that Inquiry tabled in March 2021 (the “Committee Report” or just “Report” for short). Liberty Victoria again thanks the Committee for the opportunity to have given evidence in person in February 2020, and is pleased to see that evidence used well and quoted in several parts of the Report. Liberty’s evidence then, as now, stressed the importance of approaching the inquiry from the position of those who are hurt and harmed by vilification rather than the narrow legalistic view of the vilifiers and their hostile backers in the mass media. Liberty Victoria urges the Government to see vilification first of all as a problem of harm done to vulnerable people, and only secondly as a freedom of speech issue.
If you have any queries regarding this submission, please do not hesitate to contact Jamie Gardiner, Vice-President of Liberty Victoria, through the Liberty Victoria office at firstname.lastname@example.org.