May 12th 2007

  Buy Issue 2755

Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: ANZAC DAY: A new dawn for Australian national pride

EDITORIAL: Labor's uranium policy: when 'yes' means 'no'

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Has Kevin Rudd made his biggest mistake?

WATER: Water crisis: farmers' warnings ignored

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Why Kevin Rudd leads in the polls

LABOR PARTY: Australian union movement's last hurrah

STRAWS IN THE WIND: ABC's John Curtin - a missed opportunity / Labor conference a gold-plated flop / Melbourne's continuing transport fiasco / Ice man cometh

INTELLIGENCE CORNER: Terror Australis - will the public ever wake up?

FAMILY ASSISTANCE: Howard's cash benefits for families

SCHOOLS: Report slams school curriculum muddle

DRUGS POLICY: $150 million campaign against 'Ice' - too little, too late

MEDICAL: Oral contraceptive link to breast cancer

HISTORY: Wilberforce's epic battle to end slavery

Plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka (letter)

Sinhalese speaking up for Tamils (letter)

Religious vilification laws (letter)

General Monash (letter)

BOOKS: BETWEEN TWO WORLDS: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce

BOOKS: THE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ: Winning the War, Losing the Peace

Books promotion page

Religious vilification laws (letter)

by Lindsay Dent

News Weekly, May 12, 2007

One of your correspondents suggested that “truth is not always a defence” in Australian defamation laws (Letters, News Weekly, March 3, 2007).

Two years ago this statement would have been correct. However since January 1, 2006, defamation laws across the nation now contain the words: “It is a defence to the publication of defamatory matter if the defendant proves that the defamatory imputations carried by the matter are substantially true” (e.g., s23, SA Defamation Act).

Victoria's Racial and Religious Tolerance Act and other Australian vilification laws do not allow a similar defence. The issue now has international significance, since the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a motion, on March 30, urging states to oppose “defamation of religions”.

We have lost our religious freedom if we can no longer tell the truth about other religions.

(Mr) Lindsay Dent,
Campbelltown, SA

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