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Freedom of speech

Analysis and Comment (12)

George Brandis wants to protect the ‘right to be a bigot’ in the name of free speech. But the government may seek to remove such a right in relation to corporations. George Brandis wants to protect the ‘right to be a bigot’ in the name of free speech. But the government may seek to remove such a right in relation to corporations. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

In the government’s hierarchy of values, is free speech at the top?

The federal government has indicated that it is considering repealing an exemption in the Competition and Consumer Act that provides for boycotts of companies on environmental grounds. The government is…
It is disingenuous for attorney-general George Brandis and the government to isolate Section 18C as the sole enemy to free speech. It is disingenuous for attorney-general George Brandis and the government to isolate Section 18C as the sole enemy to free speech. AAP/Stefan Postles

Section 18C and unravelling the government’s ‘freedom agenda’

It is remarkable that the Abbott government has singled out one law, Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, as stifling free expression, but has remained silent on other more draconian laws that…
If the web needs new rules,who makes them? If the web needs new rules,who makes them? Flickr / ocean.flynn

If the web wants rules, who will make them?

Web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee wants an online “Magna Carta” to protect and ensure the independence of the internet. He’s also created a Web We Want campaign, calling on people to generate a digital bill…
Xu Zhiyong, jailed for four years. for inciting public disorder. Xu Zhiyong, jailed for four years. for inciting public disorder. Wikimedia Commons

China’s war on thought is being waged in Western universities

In the past decade, US and UK universities have embarked on a program of developing formal relationships, exchanges, and partnerships with their counterparts in China. No scholar interested in promoting…
You may not like them, but UK press keeps the bastards honest. You may not like them, but UK press keeps the bastards honest. Rui Vieira/PA Wire

World media think British press is less free – they might be right

One fact that can unite all sides in the post-Leveson press regulation debate is that the world now thinks British journalists are less free – and less likely to be free in the future. This perception…
How will new communications minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition approach the vexed issue of media reform? How will new communications minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition approach the vexed issue of media reform? AAP/Alan Porritt

Policy outlook: Coalition likely to take a measured approach on media regulation

The media has wasted little time reminding the Coalition government that its rigorous scrutiny of the former Labor government was par for the course. Journalists are snapping at the Coalition’s heels on…
Sue the straw-scientist, big corporations. Sue the straw-scientist, big corporations. Emilio Labrador

The Defamation Act hasn’t done enough for scientists

Scientists are rarely happy in UK’s libel courts. The threat to science from the UK defamation law is not so much that scientific publications have regularly been held to be libellous, but the distraction…
The High Court decision against Palm Island rioter, Lex Wotton highlights concerns about how little our constitution does to protect us. The High Court decision against Palm Island rioter, Lex Wotton highlights concerns about how little our constitution does to protect us. AAP Image/Ian Hitchcock

Silencing Lex Wotton: Palm Island riot decision a blow for freedom of speech

When a prisoner has served their time, it’s difficult to understand why they would be stopped from engaging in public debate or communicating with the media. But a new precedent has been set by the High…
Andrew Bolt has a presence across a variety of media platforms. Andrew Bolt has a presence across a variety of media platforms. AAP

Andrew Bolt, racism and the internet

Already the Libertarian Right have begun to marshal their traditional arguments to cover Andrew Bolt’s disgrace by the Federal Court. Bolt himself has screeched freedom of speech in the wake of his ascerbic…
Andrew Bolt outside court in Melbourne during an earlier appearance in the case decided today. Andrew Bolt outside court in Melbourne during an earlier appearance in the case decided today. AAP

Bolt loses in court but will public condemnation follow?

Columnist and commentator Andrew Bolt has lost his racial discrimination case in the Federal Court. The action under the Racial Discrimination Act had been brought by nine Aboriginal people including high…
The UN is protecting your right to express yourself in social media. The UN is protecting your right to express yourself in social media. Flickr/-lucky cat-

Click, like, comment? The UN goes digital on freedom of expresssion

General Comment No. 34 on Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights may sound like something from a bureaucratic nightmare, but it drags your right to freedom of expression into the digital…