Freedom of Speech

Ideas & Liberty / Freedom of Speech

Free speech is one of the bulwarks of individual liberty. Australians should have the right to express a viewpoint without fearing they will be dragged in front of a judge or jury. But free speech is under threat. New "rights" like the "right not to be offended" are supplanting the basic right to free expression. And governments unhappy with political criticism are increasingly seeking to regulate what they view as a hostile media.

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The age of unreason

Freedom of Speech | Matthew Lesh
The Spectator Australia 16th June, 2016

California legislators are considering a bill that would make debate on climate change illegal. The Orwellian-sounding Climate Science Truth and...

Let all voices be heard, however distasteful

Freedom of Speech | Matthew Lesh
The Australian 3rd June, 2016

The decision of La Trobe University to suspend Marxist academic Roz Ward following her Facebook comments is more complex than it first appears....

Racial Discrimination Act: Turnbull should revisit 18C repeal case

Freedom of Speech | Simon Breheny
The Australian 29th April, 2016

If it wasn't already clear, the past few months demonstrate how firmly the issue of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 is now...

Curbing free speech would deprive us of powerful tool to wield against Islamist radicalism

Freedom of Speech | Chris Berg
The Age 1st March, 2015

Tony Abbott was right about the significance of the massacre at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo when it happened in January. "Freedom of...

Charlie challenges the Coalition

Freedom of Speech | John Roskam
Australian Financial Review 16th January, 2015

Charlie Hebdo changes everything and nothing. The cover of the latest edition of the magazine features a caricature of Muhammad. That cover has...

The inability to handle criticism shows weakness

Freedom of Speech | Chris Berg
The Drum 13th January, 2015

In his discussion of religion in Dialogues Between ABC, the great French writer Voltaire makes a simple point about freedom of speech. "If a...


Free speech bill an opportunity for the Turnbull government

MEDIA RELEASE | Simon Breheny

Senator Day's Racial Discrimination Amendment Bill 2014 is a significant opportunity for the Turnbull government to demonstrate its commitment to freedom of speech, according to free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs. The Senate...

Tasmanian anti-discrimination complaint shows freedom of speech is under attack

MEDIA RELEASE | Simon Breheny

"An anti-discrimination complaint against the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart shows that freedom of speech is under attack," says Simon Breheny, director of the Legal Rights Project at free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs. Martine...

Free speech lost in translation


Ten years ago in September 2005, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published twelve cartoons and sparked what the Danish prime minister described as the worst crisis in Danish foreign policy since the Second World War. In his book, The Tyranny...