Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Don't get too excited

So, "repeal Section 18C" crowd are thrilled that some Japanese community group has apparently made a complaint to the Human Rights Commission about a statue on church land commemorating the "comfort women" of World War 2.

Given that the statue looks innocent enough, and commemorates suffering that no doubt happened, on some scale or other, the free speech culture warriors seem to think this is some proof that the law is an ass.

Which, really, doesn't make much sense.  Do they rush out to claim that defamation law is obviously stupid and wrong and needs to be repealed every time someone takes out a defamation action that most people feel is ill founded, and which subsequently fails?

They might also question who it is that is bringing the action.

Because, if one cares to look at their little used website, it appears pretty clear that the far from well known "Australia-Japan Community Network " seems to spend nearly all of its time complaining about how Koreans and Chinese keep unfairly going on and on about the comfort women issue and Japanese militaristic behaviour in the 20th century.

In fact, there is even a post suggesting that the Nanjing massacre was vastly exaggerated.

It's hard to escape the conclusion that this group (of very indeterminate size) is used as a vehicle for some Japanese who push a  nationalist pro-Japan line, of the kind you hear about as still trying to have some political influence in Japan.

Most of us in the West consider that branch of the political scene in Japan as pretty disreputable, for their failure to acknowledge history.

So, that gives a bit of context into the matter of why the complaint is being made at all.  Just because some grandstanding person attempts to make what I would call mischievous use of law (look at Leyonhjelm's silly recent complaint, too) doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad law: what it mainly suggests is that the HRC procedures need to be able to dismiss them quickly, unlike the situation with the recent QUT case.

So I'm on side with the Australian Council of Jewry on this.

Besides, all the nervous energy libertarians like Davidson, Wilson, Leyonhjelm and the whole IPA crew put into this issue helps keep them looking like the nutty obsessives they are.  Let's keep it that way.


not trampis said...

I do note most legal commentators think the japs have little chance.

Mind you neither did Prior so you have to ask how good whwas the legal work for the QUT students!

Mayan said...

Of all the insults and impairments for free speech, why, oh why, must the usual suspects harp on and on and on about s18? It's like they don't actually care about free speech.

not trampis said...

notice they NEVER talk about the libel laws