Anti-Vilification & Hate Speech Law in Australia and New Zealand

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Join this event and hear from vilification law experts about recent developments in anti-vilification and hate speech laws.

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Although anti-vilification laws exist in most democracies, they remain controversial. Do these laws illegitimately restrict free speech? What purposes do they serve, and what harms do they target? Do they appropriately balance competing interests?

In Australia, vilification laws in Victoria, New South Wales and the Commonwealth have been reviewed by parliamentary committees in the last four years. In New Zealand, changes to vilification laws are proposed in response to recent hate crimes.

This panel discussion brings together vilification law experts from Australia and New Zealand to discuss these complex and important issues.

A collaboration between the Castan Centre and the University of Auckland Centre for Human Rights Law, this panel will provide an update on recent developments in these two jurisdictions, and provide a framework for understanding the nature and purpose of anti-vilification laws.


Professor Paul Rishworth, University of Auckland

Liam Elphick, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash Law


Dr Eddie Clark, Senior Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington

Senior Lecturer at the Victoria University of Wellington Law School, with research interests in public and administrative law.

Bill Swannie, Lecturer, Victoria University

Lecturer in the College of Law and Justice, Victoria University, where he teaches and researches in media law and human rights law.


Professor Simon Rice, University of Sydney

Kim Santow Chair of Law and Social Justice at the University of Sydney Law School, with expertise in equality and anti-discrimination law.

Professor Ursula Cheer, Dean of Law, University of Canterbury

Dean of University of Canterbury School of Law and a prominent author and scholar in media law and freedom of expression.

This webinar is a partnership of:

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Organiser Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

Organiser of Anti-Vilification & Hate Speech Law in Australia and New Zealand

The Castan Centre is a world-renowned academic centre using its human rights expertise to create a more just world where human rights are respected and protected, allowing people to pursue their lives in freedom and with dignity. The Centre’s innovative approach to public engagement and passion for human rights are redefining how an academic institution can create important and lasting change. The Centre is named after the late
Ron Castan AM QC, a passionate advocate of human rights.

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