Freedom of speech in Australia

On 8 November 2016, pursuant to the section 7(c) of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011, the Attorney-General referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights the following matters for inquiry and report:

  • whether the operation of Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (including sections 18C and 18D) impose unreasonable restrictions on freedom of speech; and
  • whether the complaints-handling procedures of the Australian Human Rights Commission should be reformed.

The full terms of reference are available. 

Submissions are no longer being accepted for this inquiry.


Please be aware that the committee has received a large number of documents in relation to this inquiry, and as a result, there are delays in publishing submissions on the inquiry webpage.  


The reporting date for this inquiry is 28 February 2017.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
PO Box 6100,
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 3823
Fax: 02 6277 5767