The Australia Institute made a submission on the Criminal Code Amendment (Prohibition of Nazi Symbols) Bill 2023.

The proposed legislation aimed to make it an offence to display a Nazi symbol in Australia. The legislation looked to impose a penalty of up to twelve months imprisonment, or up to $27,500 in fines, for those found guilty of the offence.

Our submission focussed on several issues pertinent to the legislation, including:

  • Providing the parliament with a stronger grasp of how toleration is central to the conflicting issues of free expression and hate speech. Primarily, that those who deny the status of other human beings as equal members of their political community are not entitled to toleration.
  • Addressing several instances where the legislation could be clearer or more detailed in its wording, to prevent possible misinterpretations or overreach in future implementation.
  • Urging the parliament to consider programs of deradicalisation or disengagement that might replace or complement the fines and prison sentences that the Bill proposes.

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