The Centre for Independent Studies’ work in law has examined constitutional issues, property rights, and the undermining of civil liberties.

We believe that the rule of law is one of the foundation stones of a free and prosperous society.

Featured Publication


The History Wars Matter
Jeremy Sammut
08 November 2017 | OP159

Despite what the post-modern theorists claim, the nation remains the ultimate political reality. The power of the national story to inspire our collective beliefs about ourselves as Australians, and for those beliefs to inspire the direction of our national life, is the reason the history…

Rediscovering Humility: Religious Freedom in a 21st Century Pluralist Society
Tim Wilson
05 December 2016 | OP151

Religious liberty is central to the Australian way of life. It is enshrined in the Australian Constitution. But it is not the only freedom that matters. There is a rising tension between accommodating differing freedoms in 21st century Australia. The changing face of Australia continues…

The Battle of Ideas: can the beliefs that feed terrorism be changed?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Denis Dragovic, Tanveer Ahmed, Peter Kurti
19 September 2016 | OP149

Defeating violent Islamic extremism has been a high priority for all western countries, including Australia, since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. However, the threat we face doesn’t so much come from zealots flying planes into buildings as from young people barely out of childhood and…

The High Court, Democracy and Same Sex Marriage
Barry Maley
19 July 2016 | OP147

The High Court in 2013 overturned the understanding of marriage in the Marriage Act 1961 as an exclusive, voluntary, heterosexual union for life, and that the Constitution therefore allowed the introduction of same sex marriage if the Parliament so decided. It is argued that 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…

Media & Commentary

Blaming High Court for citizenship debacle simply deepens public's mistrust
Simon Cowan
09 December 2017 | Canberra Times

As citizenship dramas spread through the parliament like flu through a public transport system, many are searching for someone to blame. I mean, besides themselves or their preferred party’s deficient…

An outbreak of ineligibility
Simon Cowan
25 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

It was only just over a month ago that Scott Ludlam, co-deputy leader of the Greens, was exposed as a reluctant Kiwi. Since then, an epidemic of dual citizenship has…

Capitalism in South Africa
Helen Andrews
19 February 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

The picture at right is the view from the Johannesburg office tower the Carlton Centre, known as ‘the Top of Africa’ because it is the tallest building on the continent,…

NSW: racists welcome
Peter Kurti
12 September 2015 | The Spectator

Ismail Alwahwah The failure of NSW authorities to prosecute the Australian head of Hizb ut-Tahrir who called for deadly violence against Jews, means anyone is now free to call for…

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…