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


The Democratic Deficit: How Minority Fundamentalism Threatens Liberty in Australia
Peter Kurti
12 July 2016 | Research Report 16

We are faced with a new kind of fundamentalism – call it ‘minority fundamentalism.’ It has all the features of religious fundamentalism, such as ideological fanaticism, intolerance of dissent, and a Manichaean certainty about truth and falsehood. The goal of the minority fundamentalists is to…

The Role of Think Tanks: A Reply to the Critics
Jeremy Sammut
13 June 2016 | OP145

Because their aims are educational and democratic, what think tanks do and why they do it is entirely transparent: they ensure their research is publically available and seek to ensure it is disseminated via the media to as broad an audience as possible in the…

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…

Media & Commentary

Sonia Kruger, terrorism, and social cohesion
Jeremy Sammut
22 July 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Banning Muslim immigration — as TV personality Sonia Kruger has urged — would cause more problems than it would solve. It would, at a minimum, violate the first rule of…

Tolerate — or else!
Peter Kurti
15 July 2016 | The spectator

During the 2016 election campaign, the Australian Greens declared they were spelling the end of the religious exemptions enshrined in federal anti-discrimination legislation — as they are in the anti-discrimination…

Identity politics: the triumph of equality over freedom?
Peter Kurti
15 July 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

The end is nigh for religious exemptions enshrined in federal anti-discrimination law — if the Australian Greens have anything to do with it. “Australians should be treated the same,” Greens…

Brave new Senate world
Trisha Jha
15 July 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

On ABC Radio National’s Drive program on Friday 1 July — election eve — I said the Senate was far more interesting a contest to watch than the lower house.…

Dallas attacks are not due to mental illness
Peter Kurti
13 July 2016 | The Spectator Flat White

President Obama’s response to the five fatal shootings of police officers in Dallas has been to attribute the attacks to mental illness. The tragedy brings together two deeply divisive and…