The "Bolt case" and its aftermath: freedom of speech and racial vilification in public discourse in Australia

Gelber, Katharine and McNamara, Luke (2013). The "Bolt case" and its aftermath: freedom of speech and racial vilification in public discourse in Australia. In: APSA 2013: Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2013, Perth, WA, Australia, (). 30 September-1 October, 2013.

Author Gelber, Katharine
McNamara, Luke
Title of paper The "Bolt case" and its aftermath: freedom of speech and racial vilification in public discourse in Australia
Conference name APSA 2013: Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2013
Conference location Perth, WA, Australia
Conference dates 30 September-1 October, 2013
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Published abstract
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
This article examines the public discourse that emerged in the aftermath of the 2011 decision of the Federal Court of Australia in Eatock v Bolt. We characterise the narrative of ‘the Bolt case’ as a ‘mobilising discourse’ that countered rather than echoed the decision itself. This discourse had three main messages: encouraging skepticism about the authenticity of fair-skinned Aboriginal persons and judgment by non-Aboriginal persons about the legitimacy of Aboriginal identity according to skin colour; questioning the legitimacy of racial vilification laws; and strengthening an absolutist conception of freedom of speech. We explain how such a contrary discourse became dominant in the wake of a ‘successful’ racial vilification action and consider its implications.
Keyword Vilification
Australian politics
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 24 Jan 2014, 10:28:04 EST by Dr Katharine Gelber on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies