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

Publications

A Test of Maturity: The liberal case for action on religious freedom
Robert Forsyth
31 July 2018 | PP8

Australia has long enjoyed religious freedom in practice without robust legal protections. Such protections as there are, are found in anti-discrimination law, usually as exemptions. However freedom of religion remains vulnerable to accusations of prejudice, bigotry and discrimination when the views and practices of religious…

A Shy Hope in the Mind: Secularisation and the Diversity of Australia’s Religious Economy
Peter Kurti
12 June 2018 | AP1

There are few facets of human society — whether political, social, or economic — that are untouched by the influence of religion. Yet those who oppose any appearance of religion in the Australian public square argue that it simply has no part to play in…

A Viable Option: A National Adoption Framework
Jeremy Sammut
06 June 2018 | PP4

Implementation of the National Child Protection Accountability Framework would correct the bias towards ‘early intervention and prevention’ — in isolation from other important policies and outcomes, especially permanency — evident in the existing National Framework introduced under the Rudd Government in 2009. The new national…

What’s happened to the University?
Frank Furedi, Marguerite Johnson, Steven Schwartz
05 February 2018 | OP163

Trigger warnings, cultural appropriation and safe spaces. Who decided to bestow guardian status to Australian universities? And why should we let this proliferation of politically correct ideals become the norm, prescribing, censoring or outright banning texts, gagging speech and curbing the exchange of ideas? “The…

Liberty and Surveillance: What should governments and private corporations know about you?
Tom Simpson
30 January 2018 | OP162

Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA hacked the internet as a key part of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence program. Since these revelations in 2013, legislation has largely served to give a secure legal backing to what was previously an undisclosed, covert and sometimes informal…

Media & Commentary

CIS: Uni review a win for free speech on campus
Jeremy Sammut
14 November 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE

The review of freedom of speech at universities announced by the federal government is a timely initiative to ensure the rights and freedoms of all Australians are protected on Australian…

Sydney Uni's theatre of the absurd
Tom Switzer
01 November 2018 | AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW

For generations, the university has been a place designed as a crucible of debate and discussion. That means allowing free-thinking and the exchange of ideas in order to acquire knowledge…

Brutal killer’s gullible fan club
Monica Wilkie
19 October 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

This month marks the 51st anniversary of the death of a murderous thug whose face has sold millions of t-shirts and posters. Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara inflicted innumerable atrocities on the…

Freedom Charters will Protect Free Speech on University Campuses
Jeremy Sammut
12 October 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

The most concerning aspect of the current debate about free speech in Australian universities has been the complacent attitudes of Australian higher education leaders. During Bettina Arndt’s recent speech at…

Punish universities if they won't protect freedom of speech
Tom Switzer
22 September 2018 | The Sydney Morning Herald

In 1932, a student group at the University of Chicago invited the US Communist Party presidential candidate to lecture on campus. As you might think, William Foster’s remarks were highly…

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