Using bad language in Victoria could cost you.

Swearing in public is already illegal, but soon police will have the power to issue on-the-spot fines instead of taking the matter to court, which will make enforcement more likely. Where’s the line between prohibiting anti-social behaviour and inhibiting freedom of expression? Do laws pertaining to swearing have any place in the 21st century?

UWA linguist Daniel Midgley may be breaking the law on this week’s Talk the Talk.


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Show notes

Some news stories about this:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/31/3231331.htm?section=justin
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/big-fines-for-those-who-cry-foul-20110530-1fctb.html?from=age_sb

This happened in Queensland as well.
http://www.news.com.au/national/queensland-police-win-new-powers-to-fine-for-public-nuisance-offences/story-e6frfkvr-1225880162115

Fully (sic), the language blog at Crikey.com, has a good write-up about this.
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/fullysic/2011/06/02/a-f-ing-stupid-law/

My blog post at ‘Good Reason’
http://goodreasonblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/victoria-fine-for-swearing.html

Aboriginal people are 15 times more likely to get fined for bad language.
http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/law/aboriginal-prison-rates.html