Freedom of speech and Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act
Dr Tim Soutphommasane
“It is said by many that freedom of expression means nothing if it doesn’t entail a freedom to offend others. The price of having free speech is that one may have to tolerate things that we may not like. As the writer Richard King suggests in his recent book On Offence, ‘the claim to find something hurtful or offensive should be the beginning of the debate, not the end of it’. But what if the burden of tolerance is not borne equally?”
Read this year’s PEN essay in full by clicking here.
People say that (writers) are pretty powerless: we don’t have an army, we don’t have a bureaucracy. But if that were true, then why would writers be arrested?... Because the spoken word is powerful.