Religious Vilification, Anti-Discrimination Laws and Religious Minorities in Australia: The Freedom to Be Different
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
Australian Law Journal, Vol. 81, No. 12, pp. 954-966, 2007
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/59
Australian laws concerning religious vilification and the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of religious belief pose a danger to the future of multiculturalism. They have a chilling effect on legitimate expressions of religious freedom because of the impact that 'folklaw' and risk-averse management have on people's behaviour. They may also create conflict by establishing a new forum for disputes that courts can never resolve. Communities who share values based on faith need the freedom to argue their understanding of truth and to discriminate between right and wrong as they see it. A new approach to multiculturalism is proposed that balances the different interests involved and which may benefit other minorities as well.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: human rights, law and religion, religious freedom, anti-discrimination, religious vilification, multiculturalism
JEL Classification: J70, K10, K30Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 18, 2008
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