By Augusto Zimmermann, Professor and Head of Law at Sheridan Institute of Higher Education in Australia, President of WALTA – Legal Theory Association, and former Law Reform Commissioner with the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
As can be seen, the proposed legislation constitutes a serious attack on the democratic right of Australians to free speech. Digital platforms will be legally obliged to police commentators’ discussion of controversial topics. Under this ‘misinformation’ legislation, any honest and robust debate about government policies will be effectively outlawed.
To conclude, our freedom of political communication is under attack in Australia. If the Misinformation and Disinformation Bill is enacted, then the free expression of ideas will be basically outlawed by the Australian Government. In short, the enactment of this law proposal will spell the end of authentic democracy in Australia. Australians are basically witnessing the transformation of their system of representative government into nothing more than a less open, or more disguised, form of elective dictatorship.