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


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…

Without Fear or Favour: Practising your Faith and your Profession
Debra Mullins
20 June 2018 | OP165

The adequacy of religious freedom protections in Australia has been now reviewed by the Ruddock Inquiry established by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after the same-sex postal survey in later 2017. By late June June 2018, however, the government had yet to release Ruddock’s findings. Nonetheless,…

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…

Media & Commentary

From British race patriotism to inclusion: we are not a racist nation
Tom Switzer
20 April 2019 | SMH

“Racist” is a powerful accusation to make against anyone, but since the Christchurch terrorist attack it has been frequently applied to Australia’s political mainstream. Hardly a day goes by without…

Curbing Corporate Social Responsibility
Jeremy Sammut
24 August 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

A current school of thought urges a legal approach to stop public companies becoming involved in politically-contentious social debates via the means of ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) that are only…

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,…