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18 June
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                     DEFEND THE RABELAIS EDITORS
The Rabelais Case: <>
Tel. contact: Jackie Lynch, National Union of Students, +613 93267000

To: CYBERIA-L@LISTSERV.AOL.COM Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 12:14:24 -0400 From: "Peter D. Junger" <junger@SAMSARA.LAW.CWRU.EDU> Subject: Australian Censorship: More Troubling than I Thought Comments: To: Free Speech <> Comments: cc: "Gino J. Scarselli" <>, Kevin Francis O'Neill <>, Spencer Neth <>, "Jonathan L. Entin" <>, "Melvin R. Durchslag" <> I enclose a message from Adam Brandt who is working on the defense of the Rabelais case. As he makes clear, this decision, if upheld, would apparently criminalize all sorts of publications in Australia. I wonder whether the matter has been brought to the attention of publications like Time magazine and the New York Times that undoubtedly have substantial circulation in Australia and that are sold on news stands there. And I wonder why the Australian press and publishers do not seem to be throwing massive resources into defending this case. (Perhaps they are hoping for more appealing defendants that a bunch of university students, but to wait for a better case to fight, could leave this as a very bad precedent.) I hope that those of you who are not in the United States will also be able to establish that this censorship would not be tolerated in your jurisdictions. It should be noted, for example, that the defense relies on ``Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Australia is a party, which provides that everyone `shall have the right to freedom of expression'.'' So the experiences of other jurisdictions with this provision would seem to be particularly relevant. -- Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH EMAIL: URL: NOTE: no longer exists ------- Forwarded Message Message-ID: <> Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 01:03:45 +1100 From: Damien Lawson <> Reply-To: Subject: Rabelais case Thank you so much for your prompt reply to the request for opinions on the recent judgment in Australia. The defendants are still unsure whether there are grounds to appeal the judgment, and we really appreciate information from those more knowledgeable in the law of the other countries cited by the court. The case has massive implications for the interpretation of the censorship code here, and if it becomes the law of Australia it will probably be illegal to publish or distribute information: - - instructing on the safer use of illegal drugs; - - encouraging people to take part in pickets or engage in other forms of industrial action; - - encouraging, in some states of Australia, people to meet in groups of more than 3 people without holding a relevant permit; or - - instructing, in some states, on homosexual sexual practices between consenting partners. In short, it will be an offence to produce literature instructing, promoting or inciting in matters of 'crime or violence', crime being defined as virtually every illegal act which is not merely regulatory (such as parking infringments). 'Instruct' is being given a very broad meaning. This will be a massive restriction on what people can say and do, and is tantamount to censoring discussion on criminal or violent matters. Of course, each defendant also faces 6 years imprisonment and/or A$72000 in fines. The idea raised by one correspondent - of a pro forma affidavit which people could sign affirming their belief that the Rabelais article would be protected in the US - is one that we will bring up at our next meeting. Any other suggestions, statements of support or legal opinions would be greatly welcomed. It is so encouraging to know that people around the world are discussing the issue and are prepared to help. Please distribute this message of thanks (and request for support!) on any email lists and to any people following this issue. Warm thanks, Adam Bandt Campaign to defend the Rabelais Editors Email: +-------------------------------------------------------------------+ DEFEND THE RABELAIS EDITORS The Rabelais Case: <> Tel. contact: Jackie Lynch, National Union of Students, +613 93267000 +-------------------------------------------------------------------+ ------- End of Forwarded Message