Just Words - Stories from 18C

Prior v QUT

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It's a case that asks more questions than it answers. In 2013, three non-Indigenous students walked into an Indigenous computer lab. What happened next nobody could have predicted. The court documents tell you that the case was Cynthia Prior against the Queensland University of Technology and three students. But the media conducted their own trial, and put the Human Rights Commission on the stand.

A comedian, an activist and a mud crab

 

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Very few comedians have made an impression on the Aboriginal community in the way King Billy Cokebottle has. From radio to pubs to nightclubs, King Billy was one of Australia's most established and renowned underground comedians. But that all changed when an 18C claim was brought against him.This is the story of a comedian, an activist and a mudcrab, and is one of the few 18C cases to successfully use the exemptions of 18D. 

Identity v Bad Journalism

 

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The case of Eatock and Bolt is what catapulted 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act into the media spotlight and fanned the flames that reignited the culture wars over this 20 year old piece of legislation.

Despite what you may have read in the headlines, this case is really about some lazy journalism and the idea of where your identity comes from.

Podcast EXTRA- Expert Panel responds to 18C Inquiry Report

 

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Is your right to offend greater than someone else's right not to be racially vilified?

For over 20 years Australia has had a law that makes it illegal to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate someone because of their race.

'Just Words', a 2SER investigative podcast, asked an expert panel to dissect the 18C Inquiry report that was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday February 28th.

Our expert panel was hosted by Nic Healey and includes:

Professor Adrienne Stone - Chair at Melbourne Law School, Melbourne University

Simon Breheny - Director of Policy at the Institute of Public Affairs.

Dr. Linda Tucker - Employment and Discrimination Solicitor for Redfern Legal Centre.

The Committee made 22 recommendations, but they stopped short of calling to axe section 18C, instead putting forward a 'shopping list' of options ranging from leaving the section unchanged to replacing the words "offend", "insult" and "humiliate" with the word "harass".

This puts Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in a difficult position as it will now be up to him to decide whether to make any change to the law.

History v Denial

 

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This is the story of a holocaust denier, a holocaust survivor and the man who made it his mission to put himself in-between the two.

Australia isn't like other countries around the world where holocaust denial is a crime. In fact there were almost no ways to legally challenge holocaust denial until section 18c was introduced in 1994.

Section 18c is a little part of our Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) that makes it unlawful to 'offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate' based on race. Its addition to the RDA meant that once where holocaust denial went unchallenged in Australia,the Jewish community now had legal options.

But with some calling for 18c to be changed or repealed, the Jewish community could be on the brink of losing their most powerful tool in their fight against anti-semitism.

 

 

Just Words

Just Words is an investigative series by 2SER 107.3FM, where we go behind the hype and headlines of our race laws and get the true stories from those who have used the racial discrimination act and those that have had it used against them.

Section 18C is the part of the Racial Discrimination Act that makes it illegal to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate someone because of their race. So will removing 18C really give people the right to be bigots?

An original 2SER podcast launches Monday 27th February 2017. The seven part series is hosted by Nic Healey. New episodes are released each Monday.

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