National Council of Jewish Women of Australia
The Voice of Australian Jewish Women

"Women working together can achieve anything"
Dr Fanny Reading MBE


Statement on 18C & Freedom of Speech

We believe that the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) plays a crucial role in ensuring that vulnerable people are protected from hate speech and vilification based on race.

We believe that freedom of speech is a very important right but not an absolute right and is not a human right above all others. Together with rights come responsibilities. Together with the right of freedom of speech comes the responsibility to not incite hatred. Further this inquiry implies that the only limitation on free speech is the regulation of hate speech. This is not the case and there are many other laws that limit speech including defamation, libel, harassment and advertising regulation.

Just as freedom of speech should be valued, so should the right of people to be part of a free and fair society without suffering the emotional and mental harm caused by hate speech, which can often have physical and life threatening implications.

Click here to read our Freedom of Speech Inquiry on behalf of NCJWA.