Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Bracks Parliament Sanctioned Attack On Free Speech Rolls On

Steve's Parliament of Victoria sanctioned attack on free speech rolls on, with the remedy hearing in the matter of Islamic Council of Victoria v Catch The Fire Ministries & Others held today.

The remedy order itself highlights the subjective and tortured nature of the Racial & Religious Tolerace Act 2001, with Judge Higgins contradicting himself, stating in paragraphs 16 (a) that the Act is not breached:

"If a person can establish that the conduct was engaged in reasonably, and in good faith, for any genuine religious purpose" - Judge Higgins, Islamic Council of Victoria v Catch The Fire Ministries & Others Remedy Orders


However two paragraphs later in 16 (c) he acknowledges about the respondents that:

"They have passionate religious beliefs which I think have caused them to transgress the law." - Judge Higgins, Islamic Council of Victoria v Catch The Fire Ministries & Others Remedy Orders


Which begs the question, what does an exemption for "genuine religious purposes" mean if it doesn't protect people who are acting on the basis of religious beliefs acknowledged by the court?

Higgins' original Judgement suggests that such an exemption would have only applied to Daniel Scot (one of the respondents) if he had provided a "balanced" seminar:

In my view, the presentation of an unbalanced seminar, albeit purporting to express the views of a particular individual, when viewed subjectively leads me to the conclusion that it was not an exercise of good faith. - Judge Higgins, Islamic Council of Victoria v Catch The Fire Ministries & Others Finding


What is "balanced" seminar? We don't yet know fully. If you read through the original finding though, you get the distinct impression that Judge Higgins has decided it definitely isn't a Pentecostal meeting with the attendant passion, emotion and appeals to moral absolutes that defines the traditions of Pentecostal preachers.

In effect, Bracks has succeeded in creating a law which allows the Judiciary to decide what religious expression is "balanced" or in "good faith" and what is not.

4 Comments:

At 12:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
Just stumbled across your blog. I think Victoria is becoming famous internationally as an example of why this kind of law is dangerous. The UK is about to go down this track and it will be a disaster there too.

 
At 6:38 PM, Blogger JP said...

I don't think the State Government has the slightest idea how dogged Danny Nalliah will be in resisting this law - he isn't a spineless crowd pleaser, he is used to criticism, thinks persecution is a sign of success and every time his turn comes around, he just raises the stakes again.

 
At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct. Nalliah is no spineless dhimmi. Furthermore this is being watch worldwide. I'm looking forward to it.

 
At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another possibly unintended consequene of this action.

http://www.gravett.org/sauce/?p=484

 

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