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Freedom of speech

Analysis and Comment (13)

Some images are illegal even to see, an online crime scene. mangostock/Shutterstock

When a drawing or cartoon image can land you in jail

A cartoon can land you in court, as happened to a man recently convicted of possessing non-photographic images – cartoons, drawings – of a sexual nature featuring children. Clearly child pornography, more…
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. 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…
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…
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. 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. 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. 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…