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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Je suis Bill Leak

Freedom of Speech | Matthew Lesh
Spiked 20th October, 2016

The idea that a cartoonist should be answerable to a government body for making a political point is yet another low in the use of Section 18C of...

Banning political donations is banning freedom

Freedom of Speech | Simon Breheny
Daily Telegraph 13th September, 2016

In the wake of the Chinese ­donation scandal engulfing "Shanghai" Sam Dastyari, more than a few politicians have ­massively overreacted by...

The Turnbull government's disgraceful free speech fail

Freedom of Speech | John Roskam
Australian Financial Review 26th August, 2016

The spectacle of Malcolm Turnbull arguing passionately for higher taxes on self-funded retirees while saying the reform of laws restricting freedom...

WARNING: This article contains ideas that offend

Freedom of Speech | Matthew Lesh
The Spectator Australia 19th August, 2016

Trigger warnings-alerts before content that could cause emotional discomfort-are an attack on intellectual freedom. The warnings change...

Time to act: Curbs on free speech must go

Freedom of Speech | Simon Breheny
The Australian 19th August, 2016

A free speech revolution is just over the horizon. Several recent events are demonstrating that Australians are sick and tired of a political class...

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...


The rise of identity politics


The charge of cultural appropriation was brought, and the students at Ohio's prestigious Oberlin University soon became international news. They were protesting that the campus cafeteria had bastardised Vietnamese culture, serving up a ciabatta...

Champion of liberalism


On 30 March 2016 at the Elizabeth Couchman Hall in Melbourne, the Young Liberal Movement (Victoria) held the inaugural Sir George Reid Lecture entitled ‘George Reid: Champion of Liberalism' delivered by the Hon. Dr David Kemp. The following...

Triggering censorship


In October 1951 University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Charles Lowe proposed restricting the use of campus buildings for political discussions. This suggestion came after three professors, at a public meeting held at the university a month...