Freedom of Speech Symposium – The Centre for Independent Studies

Freedom of Speech Symposium


In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre and subsequent Copenhagen attacks, and the resulting reigniting of the heated 18c debate in Australia, The Centre for Independent Studies believes it is more important than ever to discuss the current state of and threats to freedom of speech.

Australian Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson recently remarked, ‘[Restriction] makes a foolish assumption that free speech favours those with power. Anyone who has studied a skerrick of history knows that protecting free speech is about giving voice to the powerless against the majority and established interests.’

CIS is Australia’s leading independent public policy research think tank and has been a long-time advocate of the importance of freedom of speech. We are pleased to announce that on Monday, 30 March 2015 we will be holding a special Freedom of Speech Symposium to bring together leading voices in the deliberation on free speech.

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Opening Remarks

Greg Lindsay AO – Executive Director of the Centre for Independent Studies


Why freedom underpins, the stock market, economy and society as a whole

Professor Suri Ratnapala


Constitutional and International Perspectives

Professor Jim Allan


The current state of and threats to free speech in Australia

Tim Wilson






Racial and religious vilification laws in Victoria and the Racial Discrimination Act

Dr Augusto Zimmermann


Striking a Balance: Weighing free speech against protection from racial vilification

Senator Dean Smith






Media freedom in the wake of Charlie Hebdo

Dr Janet Albrechtsen

Metadata and privacy issues

Ben Grubb


Walking back from the right to bigot

Dr Jeremy Sammut




Vote of thanks

Helen Andrews


Drinks and nibbles


Event concludes


 1  Tim Wilson – Human Rights Commissioner
 2  Senator Dean Smith – Senator for Western Australia
 3  Professor Suri Ratnapala – Emeritus Professor of Public Law at The University of Queensland and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law
 10  Dr Janet Albrechtsen – Columnist for the Australian
4  Professor Jim Allan – Garrick Professor in Law at the University of Queensland
 5  Dr Augusto Zimmermann – Law Reform Commissioner with the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia. President of the Western Australian Legal Theory Association (WALTA) and a Vice-President of the Australian Society of Legal Philosophy (ASLP).
 6  Dr Jeremy Sammut – Research Fellow at The Centre for Independent Studies
Ben Grubb Ben Grubb – Technology Editor Fairfax Media
 9  Helen Andrews – Policy Analyst and editor of POLICY at The Centre for Independent Studies

Please note that all tickets are transferable but non-refundable. If you wish to transfer a ticket you must advise the organisers of the name change prior to Friday, 27 March 2015.

Event enquiries: Kiri Goschnick –

Media enquiries: Karla Pincott –