Research Report: A Profile of Racial Vilification Complaints Lodged with the new South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board
In 1989 New South Wales became the first State in Australia to legislate against racial vilification. The introduction of this legislation, and discussion of similar provisions in other jurisdictions, rekindled debates about the legitimacy of legal limits on hate speech. However, little is known about the practical operation of antivilification laws. This report presents the results of a survey of more than 160 racial vilification complaints handled by the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board from 1993 to 1995. The profile of the legislation in practice presented here provides a valuable empirical foundation for critical assessment of anti-vilification provisions and of the conciliation based procedure which is currently employed in handling complaints.