In recent months opposition to 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act has increased with many, including the Australian Christian Lobby, seeing it as an impost on freedom of speech.
On 8 November 2016, the Attorney-General, George Brandis asked the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights to inquiry into these concerns.
In particular, the inquiry will consider:
- whether the operation of Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (including sections 18C and 18D) impose unreasonable restrictions on freedom of speech; and
- whether the complaints-handling procedures of the Australian Human Rights Commission should be reformed.
In its written submission to the inquiry, the Australian Christian Lobby called for Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act to be repealed.
The inquiry is expected to hand down its report by 28 February 2017.