Some are More Equal than Others? Dignity, Difference and Vilification

Bruce Baer Arnold, Wendy Bonython

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vilification is expression that objectifies a group and serves to harm, most saliently through reducing the participation in public life by members of that group. This article critiques the Australian anti-vilification regime, arguing that it is both appropriate and feasible for governments to foster individual and collective flourishing through coherent restrictions on hate speech. The article suggests that such restriction are founded on a respect for human dignity rather than merely a concern for public order. This respect invokes both statements by politicians that signal the community’s disdain for vilification on the basis of gender and sexual orientation rather than merely traditional restrictions regarding vilification in relation to ethnicity and religious affiliation. Australia can develop a progressive and coherent regime that provides consistency across jurisdictions whilst accommodating concerns regarding free speech.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-51
Number of pages19
JournalGriffith Journal of Law and Human Dignity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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