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Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/australian/adelaide-institute/press/HREOC.001020

Government agency)

Media Release

10 October 2000

No place for racial hatred on the Internet

Commissioner Kathleen McEvoy has declared that the Adelaide Institute
should remove offensive material based on racial hatred from
its website.

Commissioner McEvoy found that the Adelaide Institute had breached section
18C  of the Racial Discrimination Act by publishing material
on the website, the consequences of which were
'vilificatory, bullying, insulting  and offensive' to the Jewish population.

The decision  challenges the Internet's potential as a conduit of extremist
views and paves the way to limit it as an avenue for promoting bigotry
and intolerance.

Acting Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Bill Jonas welcomed the decision.  
He said: "The benefits society enjoys from modern technology should             never be undermined by the use of that same technology for racial                vilification or other forms of racist communication".

"In public discourse there is a need to balance rights and responsibilities,  
for example, balancing the right to freedom of speech and political
communication with the right to freedom from racial vilification.
It is never appropriate to victimise people of a certain race in                the name of freedom of speech."

The decision found that the Adelaide Institute website contained material on  
"the Holocaust", none of which was of an historical, intellectual
or scientific standard that was persuasive on these issues. The
main purpose of the publication of the material was the humiliation
and denigration of Jewish people.

Commissioner McEvoy determined that Dr Fredrick Toben should remove the 
contents of the Adelaide Institute website from the World Wide Web and 
not  republish its contents in public elsewhere.  She also determined 
that Dr Toben should make a written statement of apology to Mr Jeremy           Jones and members of the Jewish Community in Australia, to appear 
on the home page of the Adelaide Institute website, for "having
published materials inciting hatred against the Jewish people".

The decision follows the recent "Scully" case in which Commissioner Anthony
Cavanough QC found that Mrs Olga Scully had distributed offensive 
anti-Semitic  literature in Launceston, Tasmania. Mrs Scully
was told to apologise to the complainants and stop selling
or offering the material.

Media contact:Janine MacDonald (02) 9284 9880 or 0412 783 631

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