This article examines two versions of the argument that speaking back is an appropriate response by the state to instances of vilification, or hate speech. It finds that civil anti-vilification laws are preferable to counterspeech responses for two reasons. First, these laws enable victims of vilification to seek legal redress for the wrong committed against them. Second, civil laws provide public assurance that all members of society are entitled to be treated with dignity in public discourse.
Swannie, Bill, Speaking Back: Comparing Australia’s Civil Racial Laws to Counterspeech Alternatives (June 4, 2021). Adelaide Law Review, volume 1, no 1, 2021.