The Government Is Expected To Water Down Controversial Changes To Australia's Racial Discrimination Act

Attorney-General George Brandis (Photo: Getty Images)

Attorney-General George Brandis will amend some sections of draft changes to the Racial Discrimination Act announced earlier this year after widespread community backlash.

A Fairfax Media report says Brandis will amend the wording of a broad exemption from prosecution for “words, sounds, images or writing spoken, broadcast, published or otherwise communicated in … the public discussion of any political, social, cultural, religious, artistic, academic or scientific matter.”

The definition of intimidation in the proposed changes will also be broadened, according to the report, to include verbal bullying, rather than just “cause fear of physical harm”.

Brandis told Fairfax he had worked through 5300 submissions since the proposals were announced in March, and that the government didn’t “have a consultation period with the intention of not listening to what people have to say”.

“There is a large variety of views from all points of the opinion spectrum and we will take into consideration all of those views and we will arrive at a final proposal,” he told Fairfax.

There’s more here.

Now read: LAWYER: Here’s How Australia’s New Racial Discrimination Laws Would Apply To Social Media

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