Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Religious Vilification, Anti-Discrimination Laws and Religious Minorities in Australia: The Freedom to Be Different

Australian Law Journal, Vol. 81, No. 12, pp. 954-966, 2007

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/59

18 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2008  

Patrick Parkinson

The University of Sydney Law School

Abstract

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.

Keywords: human rights, law and religion, religious freedom, anti-discrimination, religious vilification, multiculturalism

JEL Classification: J70, K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Parkinson, Patrick, Religious Vilification, Anti-Discrimination Laws and Religious Minorities in Australia: The Freedom to Be Different. Australian Law Journal, Vol. 81, No. 12, pp. 954-966, 2007; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/59. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1144962

Patrick Parkinson (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Paper statistics

Downloads
487
Rank
47,531
Abstract Views
2,557