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


Magna Carta: Talisman of Liberty
Barry Maley
26 June 2015 | OP142

Eight hundred years ago, in 1215, an English king was confronted by rebellious barons – the great landholders of England – who demanded that his royal powers be curbed in favour of their liberties. Their Magna Carta (or ‘Great Charter’) listed their proposals. That singular…

What are We Fighting For? Islamism and the Threat to Liberal Ideas
David Kilcullen
03 May 2015 | OP140

Counterinsurgency expert and military strategist Dr David Kilcullen delivered The Centre for Independent Studies’ 2014 John Bonython Lecture with a crucial and fascinating exploration of recurring Occidentalism, why Western values are anathema to Islamists, and why we must take decisive action now to counter the…

Fatal Shore or Land of Opportunity?
Andrew Tink, David Hunt, Michael Pembroke
03 May 2015 | OP139

This volume brings together two presentations and the introductions from an event hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies and exploring the frames of reference from which to view the colonisation of Australia by the First Fleet. Andrew Tink AM, author of Lord Sydney: the…

An Ounce of Prevention? A Toolkit for Evaluating Preventive Health Measures
Helen Andrews
26 November 2014 | PM143

Preventive health is a broad umbrella that includes such disparate services as vaccines for schoolchildren, blood pressure screenings, ad campaigns to discourage binge drinking, and special taxes on tobacco products. What all these programs have in common is an intention to spend money now in…

What are we fighting for? Islamism and the threat to liberal values
David Kilcullen
12 November 2014

As prepared I want first to thank the Centre for Independent Studies for the opportunity to be part of this event, with its rich tradition of provocative debate. I want to thank the team for organizing this, and for your wonderful welcome. Most importantly, I…

Media & Commentary

We decide
Peter Kurti
14 August 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

The issue of marriage equality will now be put to the country at the next election, rather than a plebiscite before then. And this is exactly what should happen. While…

Culture quells racism
Jeremy Sammut
10 July 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

Dawn Fraser’s apology for her inappropriate ‘go back to where you came from’ comments about tennis player Nick Kyrios needs to be kept in perspective regarding the extent of racism in…

Ideology without being an ideologue
06 July 2015

Speech delivered by Trisha Jha at the Australian and New Zealand Students for Liberty Conference on 4 July When I was at uni, I took a compulsory class on Australian foreign…

Ideas scare people
Greg Lindsay
26 June 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

“When did ideas become such a scary concept?” said Peter van Onselen in The Australian this week. Other commentators have said much the same. The context was the ‘leaking’ of parts of…

Address by Hon Christian Porter - Magna Carta: Celebrating 800 Years of Law and Liberty
16 June 2015

United States Supreme Court Justice Scalia said of the Magna Carta ‘it is with us every day’.[1]  In its 800th Anniversary Year it is hard to deny this observation. Indeed,…