Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Prohibition of Nazi Symbols Bill 2023

The AJDS was invited by the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs to make a submission on the Criminal Code Amendment (Prohibition of Nazi Symbols) Bill 2023 in April 2023 See submission below.

AJDS takes the view that while banning well-Nazi symbols or salutes is well-intended, there are any number of symbols used by other groups (such as in the former Yugoslavia) that are appropriated in Australia. And there are more recent symbols and signals that are displayed by hate groups either in person on line. Banning one will only lead to another being invented. In fact, the emphasis should be upon strategies to prevent the formation of hate groups, strong political leadership from all parties, and various forms of education about ethnic or group hatred that different communities in Australia have suffered (not just Holocaust education) in schools. This includes acknowledging what colonization did to Indigenous Australians.

Many of the submissions make interesting reading on the pros and cons of such legislation, including the chilling assessment from ASIO and the insights from the Australian Muslim Advocacy Network. All submissions can be accessed here.

AJDS took a similar position on Victorian legislation in 2022.