Queensland Vilification Laws
The Racial Defamation Act 1996 is similar to the New South Wales Act. In 2002, the Office of the Procurator-General published a working paper entitled “Proposal for a new law against religious discrimination and defamation”. After many objections, no law was passed. The prosecutor said the parliamentary committee made 17 recommendations after examining the nature and extent of hate crimes and serious defamation in the state, as well as the effectiveness of existing laws. If bullying does not violate an anti-discrimination law, it can still violate workplace safety and safety laws or workplace or education policies if it involves repetitive and inappropriate behavior. Bullying can happen anywhere, including schools and workplaces. You should contact the Occupational Health and Safety Information Line at Fair and Safe Work Queensland on 1300 369 915 or seek legal advice. “The recent inquiry by the Queensland Parliament`s Law and Security Committee into aggravated insults and hate crime recommended an offence banning the public display of hateful symbols.” “The committee will examine the impact of serious denigration and hate crimes on various groups,” she said. If unlawful defamation consists of threatening to harm a person or his property, or inciting others to threaten to physically harm a person or his property, it is a criminal offence. This is called severe denigration and it is a police matter. A person convicted of aggravated insult can be sentenced to six months in jail or a fine of 70 units (more than $9,000).
The fine for a company can be up to 350 penalty units (over $46,000). If you have been a victim of denigration or abuse because of your race, but do not wish to file a formal complaint, you can report it to us through our online racism reporting tool. A defamation complaint can also be filed by an organization instead of a single person. The primary purpose of the organization must be to promote the interests or well-being of people of a particular race, religion, sexuality or gender identity. The organisation must convince the Commission that: the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 and its amendments create laws similar to those in Tasmania. In 2001, the Islamic Council of Queensland brought the first lawsuit under the Anti-Discrimination Act for victimisation on the basis of religion. The Islamic Council complained that the interviewee, Mr. Lamb, a candidate in a federal election, had expressed negative views about Muslims in a campaign pamphlet. Walter Sofronoff of the Anti-Discrimination Court dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that Mr. Lamb did not intend to incite hatred or contempt, but wanted to give voters his opinion on political issues.  If the CQRC or TAQC determines that you have been discriminated against, sexually harassed, defamed and victimized, you may receive financial compensation.
The procedure for resolving discrimination, sexual harassment, denigration and victimization focuses on mediation. At an arbitration conference, an independent adjudicator and the people you are complaining about will help you discuss your concerns and try to reach an agreement to resolve the complaint. Since the introduction of the amendment on racial hatred, the HREOC has received the following complaints concerning racial hatred: 1995-96 – 63 ; 1996-97 -186; 1997-98 – 94; 1998-99 – 86; 1999-00 – 75; 2000-01 – 145. The most common types of complaints about racial hatred concerned the media , neighbourhood disputes, workers, personal conflicts and public debates. So far, there have been very few complaints of racial hatred on the Internet. Similarly, there is very little public education about the right of internet users to complain to the Commission (or other regulators) about racist content on the internet. And until the recent Federal Court decisions (see below), there was some uncertainty about whether and how the racial discrimination law would be applied to the Internet. As public education in this area grows, awareness of the IT sector increases, and Internet use continues to increase, the Commission and other regulators can expect an increasing number of complaints about racial slurs online. Discrimination laws fall under both state and federal law, so you can call the Queensland Human Rights Commission on 1300 130 670 to investigate or get legal advice to determine your best options. This document describes what constitutes racial hatred under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and provides an overview of the complaints procedure of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
It also briefly describes two cases relevant to regulating racial hatred on the Internet: Jones vs. raging  and Dow Jones Company Inc v. Gutnick.  Relevant state and territory provisions on racial defamation, including criminal sanctions, are also presented. Both the Gutnick case and the Federal Court of Justice`s opinion on Mr. Toben confirm the application of domestic jurisdiction to Internet content created abroad. The application of racial discrimination law or state anti-defamation laws with foreign content has not been tested. Such application of domestically adopted laws to Internet users and service providers around the world has been criticized for undermining the principle of state sovereignty and democracy – the right of states to legislate at the will of their own citizens.  However, the issue is controversial because at least one expert concludes that it would be difficult to apply state laws to offensive websites created outside the state in question.
 Moreover, states` criminal laws against bashing have rarely, if ever, been prosecuted, even if they were enacted some time ago. This fact, combined with the generally accepted difficulties in Internet regulation, shows that this concern is premature at best. Multicultural Affairs Minister Leanne Linard said she supports the introduction of laws dealing with serious denigration and hate crimes against culturally diverse groups. All Australian states and the Australian Capital Territory have racial discrimination laws similar in many respects to the Federal Racial Discrimination Act. Their approaches to racial slurs and other behaviour based on racial hatred are not uniform. This section provides only a brief overview of the relevant provisions. Only the NT has no provision on racist insults.  For example, a factual newspaper article about an insult that included a photo or a direct quote from the insult would not be considered an insult per se. Complaints about unlawful insults are dealt with by us at the Commission as part of our complaints procedure. “I meet and work with people from our ethnically diverse state every day and have heard first-hand about the devastating effects of insults and hate crimes,” Linard said. South Australia  and the ACT  have anti-nigration laws that essentially mirror New South Wales legislation. These states, along with Queensland and Victoria, have civil and criminal laws dealing with racial slurs.
Queensland , Victoria  and Tasmania  prohibit racial and religious denigration. Tasmania  covers both racial and religious insults, but does not provide for criminal sanctions. Australia`s hate speech laws provide redress to a person who has been discriminated against, vilified or harmed for reasons that vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. All Australian jurisdictions offer remedies if a person is harassed on the basis of colour, ethnic origin, national origin or race. Some jurisdictions offer redress if a person is harassed because of their race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender identity, HIV status or sexual orientation. “We know that swastika symbols have deep meaning in some religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The new laws will allow these symbols to be used in these respectful circumstances, but will prevent them from being used as a symbol of hate. I look forward to the bill being introduced later this year. If the slander is directed against a specific person, that person may file a complaint with the Commission. There are two types of denigration under the law: unlawful defamation, which is a civil matter, and aggravated insult, which is a criminal offense.
Attorney General Shannon Fentiman said the House committee will look at bashing and hate crimes holistically. The question of which jurisdiction applies to internet content was recently considered by the Australian High Court in Dow Jones & Company Inc v. Gutnick.  In that case, the Court found that the defamation laws of the Australian state of Victoria apply to material posted on the Internet from a server based in America. The case noted that “those who publish defamatory material on the Internet are liable in the courts of each country where the reputational damage occurred.”  This skill was preferred over American locations where the material had been downloaded  and edited.  In particular, whether legislation is adequate to address modern challenges such as online defamation? In order to detect racial slurs of a criminal nature, it is usually necessary to establish a high level of harassment or potential threat. Although the distribution of offensive material may end the continuum of conduct prohibited by state criminal law, incitement to violence, threats against persons or property, etc. are generally necessary for state or federal criminal provisions to apply.  In this regard, state criminal laws against serious racial slurs provide the same legal protection against threats, violence, etc.
as other criminal protection measures in Australia. The main difference is that the states listed above and the ATT have made race a specific element of the crime.