Ideas about Liberty

Ideas about liberty permeate all elements of CIS research. How much government and regulation does Australia need are questions that we address through our research and events program.

We believe in liberty; freedom of association, religion and speech; and the right to property.

The ideal we endorse is that a good society is one in which autonomous citizens are at liberty to order their affairs as they wish, and in which individuals have the capacity to take personal responsibility for their choices.

Featured Publication


Investor-State Arbitration and the Rule of Law: Debunking the Myths
Patrick Carvalho
13 April 2016 | Research Report 13

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a legal provision in international agreements that enables foreign investors to take host states to an arbitral tribunal for alleged treaty breaches. The goal of investor-state arbitration is to provide a de-politicised, unbiased and law-based adjudication forum to guarantee the…

Hallowed Institutions: Religion and The Roots of Liberty and Prosperity
Peter Kurti
12 February 2016 | OP144

God appears to be resurgent in 21st century societies around the world. As our awareness of the claims made by religion becomes more acute, it is ever more important to understand those claims as well as the challenges and contributions religious belief has made, and…

Should a Baker be Forced to Bake Cakes for Same Sex Weddings: Democracy and the Rights and Limits of Religion and Conscience in Contemporary Australia
Anthony Fisher
06 November 2015 | OP143

How important are religious liberty and freedom of conscience is in modern statecraft and nation-building? Do they foster social cohesion and mutual respect, or are they sources of division and vilification in diverse societies? Long seen as bedrock foundations of the democratic-liberal state and the common…

National Security and Counter-Terrorism
George Brandis
06 November 2015

On Friday 6 Nov. Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC, the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate joined CIS members and friends for lunch where he spoke about national security.

Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts 2015
11 August 2015

The CIS submission into the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry proposed two tightly targeted areas be changed: 1. That the Department of Health withdraw all financial support for the Health Star Rating system, including explanatory websites, public awareness campaigns, and studies of its effectiveness. 2. That the government…

Media & Commentary

Humbugging our way to damnation
Theodore Dalrymple
22 April 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Prominent billboard advertisements for a large and important Australasian bank perfectly illustrate and exemplify the besetting sin of contemporary intellectual and political life: humbug. The advertisements suggest that the bank…

Trawling the trolls
Theodore Dalrymple
08 April 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

I am no respecter of persons, particularly politicians, but even politicians are human — more or less — and are therefore deserving of some kind of elementary courtesy. When, shortly…

Three ways politics will change, whether Trump wins or not
Helen Andrews
18 March 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

With Marco Rubio out of the race, the anti-Trump forces within the Republican Party are now more united than ever. Whether or not they prove able to stop Trump before…

It's the masses who are stupid, stupid
Peter Kurti
05 March 2016 | The Spectator

Abuse and indignant invective are the responses you are likely to attract for even daring to raise questions about the $8 million taxpayer funded Safe Schools program. Liberal Senator Cory…

Vale John Hirst
Jeremy Sammut
12 February 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

John Hirst, my mentor and friend for 20 years, died last week. The date of his death has been misreported: 3 February, 2016 as in the notice here. The record…