Lawyers want states to legislate on racial discrimination

THE Australian Lawyers Alliance has suggested all state governments might need to replicate racial discrimination laws in state legislation if they are repealed at a federal level.

The ALA is concerned about plans to water down protections on individuals' rights and believes the Victorian Opposition's commitment to replicate laws at state level reflected the views of the vast majority of Australians about the issue.

ALA president Geraldine Collins said this would only provide a partial solution though because "federal legislation does prevail if there is an inconsistency with a state law".

"Ultimately, retaining current federal protections is the optimal way forward," she said.