Prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred
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Article 20 of the ICCPR states:
- Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.
- Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
Australian interpretative declaration and reservation
This requirement however is subject to the right of parties to make reservations. Parties to treaties can make reservations which limit or exclude particular obligations.
Australia has made fhe following reservation to article 20:
Australia interprets the rights provided for by articles 19, 21 and 22 as consistent with article 20; accordingly, the Common wealth and the constituent States, having legislated with respect to the subject matter of the article in matters of practical concern in the interest of public order ( ordre public), the right is reserved not to introduce any further legislative provision on these matters.
CERD Article 4
Article 4(a) of CERD requires countries to criminalise all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred and incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts against any racial or ethnic groups.
Article 4(b) of CERD requires the criminalisation of participation in organisations which promote and incite racial discrimination.
Australian interpretative declaration / reservation
On becoming a party to CERD in 1975, Australia made a declaration in relation to Article 4(a) that it was not then in a position to criminalise all the matters covered in the article. This declaration has generally been described as constituting a reservation.
During Australia's Universal Periodic Review in 2011, the Australian Government committed to establishing a systematic process for the regular review of Australia's reservations to international human rights treaties.
- Human Rights Committee General Comment 24: Issues relating to Reservations
- Human Rights Committee General Comment 11: Prohibition of propaganda for war and inciting national, racial or religious hatred
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