Freedom of speech


16 Aug 2017

Let’s face it, the only way to live in dignity, inside this depraved society we inhabit, is to resist. That being so, to go to prison is really nothing more than to maintain simple human dignity, it’s really nothing to brag about.— Liu Xiaobo, “Letter...


7 Aug 2017

Unions and civil liberties groups have described the federal government's new social media policy for public servants as reprehensible and absurd.

Research report

5 Jun 2017

This report argues that Australian governments must act now to safeguard and encourage vibrant debate on matters of public interest.

Audio podcast

12 May 2017

The Central European University (CEU) in Budapest has become a symbolic battleground between liberal internationalism and a rising tide of populist nationalism.

Its future is under threat after the Hungarian government, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, announced new higher education laws, which the...


4 May 2017

A visitor to this country over the past week might wonder where, or in what year, he or she has landed. It’s now nine sleeps since ANZAC Day 2017, and hundreds of articles and hours of rolling outrage have been expended on a few words...


2 May 2017

The notion of personal privacy in a digital society may be out of date. While many of us say we still want it, we willingly share our data – and dislike paying to protect it. Governments and online businesses covet our personal information. Meanwhile, almost...


1 May 2017

More than two centuries into the American experiment, there is still vigorous disagreement about the reasons for protecting speech, and about whether we protect it enough, or too much. Technological change is transforming this debate because it is transforming the way we communicate. On May...


1 May 2017

This website contains hundreds of news articles, videos, analysis and in-depth reports on the right of artists to freedom of expression, as well as with issues relating to human rights and artistic freedoms generally.

Research report

29 Mar 2017

Many experts fear uncivil and manipulative behaviors on the internet will persist – and may get worse. This will lead to a splintering of social media into AI-patrolled and regulated ‘safe spaces’ separated from free-for-all zones. Some worry this will hurt the open exchange of...

Research report

28 Feb 2017

On 8 November 2016, pursuant to the section 7(c) of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 , the Attorney-General referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights the following matters for inquiry and report:

whether the operation of Part IIA of the...

Audio interview

31 Jan 2017

Those who support watering down the anti-hate laws in the Racial Discriminaton Act have received a boost this morning.

Polling commissioned by conservative think tank the Institute of Public Affairs shows that almost one in two people support removing the words 'insult' and 'offend'...

Research report

Populists and autocrats: the dual threat to global democracy
16 Jan 2017

In 2016, populist and nationalist political forces made astonishing gains in democratic states, while authoritarian powers engaged in brazen acts of aggression, and grave atrocities went unanswered in war zones across two continents.


5 Dec 2016


Religious liberty is central to the Australian way of life. It is enshrined in the Australian Constitution. But it is not the only freedom that matters. There is a rising tension between accommodating differing freedoms in 21st century Australia. The changing face...

Audio presentation

10 Nov 2016

Professor Rosalind Croucher addresses the NSW Bar Association on her work on the ALRC’s Report on Traditional Rights and Freedoms, which was completed late last year and coincided with the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the first iteration of what became known as the...


7 Oct 2016

Australia’s new Human Rights Commissioner, Edward Santow, will use his first year in office to focus on the treatment of people in detention in Australia.

Commissioner Santow said he hopes the Federal Government will soon announce what it intends to do about the Optional...



2 Oct 2016

Corporations are using U.S. copyright law to harass and silence individuals and obstruct freedom of the press, reports Murray Hunter.



15 Sep 2016

Recent discussion about freedom of speech in Australia has focused almost exclusively on Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. For some politicians and commentators, 18C is the greatest challenge to freedom of speech in Australia and the reform or repeal of this section will...

Research report

Anxious dictators, wavering democracies: global freedom under pressure
10 Jan 2016

The world was battered by crises that fueled xenophobic sentiment in democratic countries, undermined the economies of states dependent on the sale of natural resources, and led authoritarian regimes to crack down harder on dissent. These developments contributed to the 10th consecutive year of decline...

Journal article

4 May 2015

Abstract: This article reviews the decision of the Federal Court in Eatock v Bolt and then turns to its aftermath — the campaign to amend of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth). The campaign to amend s 18C, like any public debate of a...

Research report

30 Mar 2015

Rights & Responsibilities 2014 was a national consultation conducted by the Human Rights Commissioner between August and December 2014. The consultation examined how well people think their human rights and freedoms are protected in Australia.

Altogether the Human Rights Commissioner consulted with over...



Items: 60