Articles on Freedom of speech

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Freedom of speech on Australian university campuses has been heavily debated this year. www.shutterstock.com

Special pleading: free speech and Australian universities

Glyn Davis lays out the evidence (or lack thereof) for the argument that free speech on campuses is at risk.
High-profile conservatives such as former PM Tony Abbott and commentator Alan Jones often complain that freedom of speech is being stifled, but the research does not support that view. AAP/David Moir

Why Australia’s anti-vilification laws matter

While some complaint that anti-discrimination laws stifle freedom of speech, there is good evidence that they make a more harmonious, safe and equal society.
The free trade agreement with Indonesia, which Australia originally. hoped would be signed this week when Morrison was in Singapore for the start of the summit season, has become hostage to the embassy decision. Mick Tskias/AAP

Grattan on Friday: Morrison government brings back memories of McMahon days

The fundamental point is that those were desperate days for the Coalition and so are these. "McMahon was in survival mode," says author Patrick Mullins. The same could be said of Morrison.
Victorian and Tasmanian laws around safe access zones at abortion clinic are being challenged in the High Court. AAP/David Moir

As the High Court challenge to abortion clinic ‘safe access zones’ begins, there is much at stake

A challenge in the High Court, starting today, will argue that "safe access zones" around abortion clinics impede the constitutional right to freedom of political speech. Here's why that's wrong.
The brouhaha over a nine-year-old girl refusing to stand for the national anthem appears to confirm that tolerance is on the wane and nationalist sentiment on the rise in Australia. Shutterstock

Outrage over schoolgirl refusing to stand for anthem shows rise of aggressive nationalism

The storm over a nine-year-old refusing to stand for the national anthem is an indication of how ugly, and misguided, some aspects of national debate have become.
‘Free speech zones’ and other efforts to limit free speech on campus are igniting controversies across the nation. Chad Zuber/www.shutterstock.com

Four campus free speech problems solved

Though free speech on campus is often a divisive issue, solutions are not hard to find, a First Amendment scholar argues.
Academic freedom therefore encompasses the freedom to research the topics we choose, to draw the conclusions we find compelling from the evidence and analysis we undertake, and to speak publicly on those matters. Shutterstock

As Melbourne University staff strike over academic freedom, it’s time to take the issue seriously

Academic freedom is routinely recognised as an important principle that is enshrined in a range of governance policies - but staff at one university say it is under threat.
Students from South Plantation High School, carrying placards, protest in support of gun control. Carlos Garcia/Reuters

What the National School Walkout says about schools and free speech

When students walked out of school to protest what they see as lax gun laws, some risked punishment from their schools. But it may be worth it to send a message, a First Amendment scholar argues.
Protesters outside the Supreme Court await a court decision in June 2016. Rena Schild/shutterstock.com

Abortion freedom of speech battle heading to the Supreme Court

Under a California law, faith-based crisis pregnancy centers must post signs with information about family planning services. The centers say it violates their First Amendment rights.
People demonstrate in Toronto in August 2017 in solidarity with those at a University of Virginia rally against white supremacy. That demonstration ended in tragedy after a woman was killed by a white supremacist. Universities in both the U.S. and Canada are at the centre of fierce debates about free speech and the right of those on the far right to be heard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Campus culture wars: Why universities must ditch the dogma

In such a polarized age, universities and colleges should uphold the core values of liberal education by asserting, through their policies and practices, the reasonable, rational middle ground.

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