discrimination

The meaning of YES…and NO

Australians have voted YES by a bigger margin than the 2PP vote at any recent federal election. This is a cause for great celebration, of course, but what happens next?

Gillian Triggs takes out free speech award

The retiring President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, is to be honoured for her fearless work in pursuit of people’s rights.

She is the recipient of the nation’s top free speech prize the Voltaire Award.

Given by Australia’s oldest human rights organisation, Liberty Victoria, it celebrates those who speak out, write, campaign, stand against authoritarianism or expose through whistle-blowing. Often award winners have gone beyond the call of duty or office and refused to be cowed or silenced.

Inquiry into the Commonwealth Government’s exposure draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill

Liberty Victoria welcomes the government's exposure draft marriage equality bill, but calls for religious exemptions to be removed, not expanded. Announced along with the failed plebiscite legislation, it is now subject of a Senate Inquiry. 

Liberty is pleased the bill would replace the discriminatory “one man and one woman” with a simple “2 people”, and would recognise overseas marriages banned by the 2004 amendments, whenever they took place. 

Freedom of Speech Inquiry

On 8 November 2016, the Attorney-General referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights for inquiry and report, whether the operation of Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (including sections 18C and 18D) impose unreasonable restrictions on freedom of speech; and whether the complaints-handling procedures of the Australian Human Rights Commission should be reformed.

Liberty Victoria has made a submission to this Inquiry.

Educate senior police on racism, human rights group urges

A reluctance to acknowledge the existence of racial profiling and a misunderstanding of how racism can be part of police practice underscores the need for better education in the Victoria Police, Liberty Victoria said today.

This follows a call by the Law Institute of Victoria for police to be required to have written consent before stopping and searching people deemed to be suspicious.

Both Liberty’s statement and the lawyers’ comments were in submissions to an inquiry after complaints by men with an African background in the Flemington area.