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Human Rights Commission 'crook': Abbott

AAP logoAAP 10/11/2016

Tony Abbott says the Human Rights Commission is "pretty crook" and that a controversial section of the Racial Discrimination Act it oversees is "bad law".

The former prime minister, who regrets not pushing ahead with changes to 18C when he was in office, says recent actions against a group Queensland university students and cartoonist Bill Leak were absolutely outrageous.

People had been hauled before the "thought-police" and made to feel un-Australian because they'd spoken their minds. "We are not precious little flowers in this country," he told ABC radio on Friday.

The best antidote to something people find offensive or even insulting is to point out exactly why it's not true and unfair, he said.

Mr Abbott believes there should be very appropriate laws against the incitement of violence.

"This whole idea that it is ok to stand up and say death to the infidel I think is just wrong and we need to stop that.

"18C is not stopping that. That's going on and on and on."

Instead, section 18C is being used against Andrew Bolt, Queensland university students and Mr Leak, he said.

Liberal frontbencher Josh Frydenberg said Mr Abbott was reflecting peoples' frustrations with the way the commission considers complaints.

He cited the case of cartoonist Bill Leak who is the subject of a complaint which the minister said lacked malicious intent.

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