Internet law – racial discrimination and internet racial hatred in Australia

Racial discrimination occurs when somebody is abused because of his or her race or ethnic origin. In Australia, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and the Racial Hatred Act of 1995 typify unlawful racially offensive behavior, including those committed by the use of the Internet. The principles and rules of the Racial Discrimination Act (“RDA”) of 1975 were complemented and expanded by the Racial Hatred Act (“RHA’) of 1995. One of the major changes introduced by RHA was the right to complain before the Australian authorities when one becomes victim of racially offensive behavior. Nonetheless, Australian law allows certain types of racially offensive behavior provided that the behavior is done reasonably and in good faith; this exception also applies to communications via the Internet.This article answers the following questions, what are three essential components of the unlawful conduct under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975? What are the exemptions under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975? To whom would an aggrieved person complain? How do the courts in Australia deal with the issue of the dissemination of racially offensive material?

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