Completed

The inquiry examined current anti-vilification laws and the effectiveness of the operation of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (the Act). Amongst other things, the Committee considered:  

  • any evidence of increasing vilification and hate conduct in Victoria 
  • possible extension of protections or expansion of protection to classes of people not currently protected under the existing Act 
  • any work underway to engage with social media and technology companies to protect Victorians from vilification. 

On 12 September 2019, the Legislative Assembly agreed to the following motion:

That this house refers, an inquiry into current anti-vilification laws, their possible expansion, and/or extension of protections beyond existing classes to the Legal and Social Issues Committee for consideration and report no later than 1 September 2020.

The Committee should consider:

  1. The effectiveness of the operation of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (the Act) in delivering upon its purposes;
  2. The success or otherwise of enforcement of the Act, and the appropriateness of sanctions in delivering upon the Act’s purposes;
  3. Interaction between the Act and other state and Commonwealth legislation;
  4. Comparisons in the operation of the Victorian Act with legislation in other jurisdictions;
  5. The role of state legislation in addressing online vilification.
  6. The effectiveness of current approaches to law enforcement in addressing online offending.
  7. Any evidence of increasing vilification and hate conduct in Victoria;
  8. Possible extension of protections or expansion of protection to classes of people not currently protected under the existing Act;
  9. Any work underway to engage with social media and technology companies to protect Victorians from vilification.*

* The reporting date has been extended to no later than 1 March 2021

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