Australia Will Implement Law Reform Commission Proposals on Sedition
Last week, the government of Australia announced that it accepts some of the major recommendations of the 2006 Australian Law Reform Commission report Fighting Words: A Review of Sedition Laws in Australia.
According to the Commission press release:
"The basic thrust of our recommendations was to create a bright line in the law between free speech—however robust, confronting or unpopular—and conduct calculated to incite violence in the community, which properly should be regarded as criminal activity."
"The law also has to be clear enough to ensure that media commentators, satirists, artists and activists are not only safe from criminal prosecution, but also from the 'chilling effect' of uncertainty."
"Context is critical in these circumstances, so the courts should be required to take into account whether the conduct in question was a part of artistic expression; or genuine academic or scientific discussion; or a news report or commentary ..."