Deakin University has bowed to legal threats, reversing a decision by its law journal to publish a defence of the White Australia policy by controversial academic Andrew Fraser.
“On the basis of (legal) advice, I have to inform you that I have directed those responsible for the Deakin Law Review not to publish your article,” university vice-chancellor Sally Walker wrote in a letter to Professor Fraser yesterday.
Professor Fraser, an associate professor in public law at Macquarie University in Sydney, has been banned from teaching at the university after making a series of statements about race, crime and culture.
In her letter, Professor Walker says she has advice that publishing his article, Rethinking the White Australia Policy, would breach the federal Racial Discrimination Act, which prohibits racial vilification.
In a media statement, she added: “Universities are charged with a responsibility of encouraging open public debate and scrutiny. However, universities are not exempt from the law, nor should they be.”
The 6800-word article, accepted by two anonymous academic reviewers, argues that the latest science confirms racial differences and vindicates the founding fathers’ attempt to preserve Australia as an Anglo-Saxon bastion.
Last week, The Australian reported that the law journal was about to publish Professor Fraser, prompting a Sydney lawyer for the Sudanese community to threaten the university with a vilification action.
Professor Fraser has used Sudanese immigration as a basis for warning that a growing black population would increase crime.
A spokesman for Deakin said the university’s advisers had considered defences.