On free speech on campus, and why the French code will be no help

Overland, 1 July 2019. Read the original here. Following conservative hysteria after a short-lived student protest when Bettina Arndt’s ‘fake rape crisis tour’ came to Sydney University last year, many universities have now agreed to implement the code of practice developed by the former Chief Justice, Robert French, in his review of freedom of speech… Continue reading On free speech on campus, and why the French code will be no help

The Ramsay Centre and the reality of ideology

Overland, 28 March 2019. Read the original here. Along with all its other horrors, 15 March was a terrible reminder of the reality of ideology. With the ideas behind the massacre of fifty Christchurch Muslims a click away in the gunman’s manifesto, there was, for once, no shortage of commentators ready to pinpoint how racist… Continue reading The Ramsay Centre and the reality of ideology

Roz Ward, Barry Spurr And What Universities Are For

New Matilda, 9 June 2016. Read the original here. When for any reason… the administrator of [a university] attempts to dislodge a professor because of his political or religious sentiments, at that moment the institution has ceased to be a university. So affirmed the University of Chicago’s first president in 1892. Going on recent experience,… Continue reading Roz Ward, Barry Spurr And What Universities Are For

A question of academic freedom

Jacobin, 31 July 2017. Read the original here. Many academics have objected to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel on the grounds that it violates academic freedom — an accusation that has been remarkably successful in gaining traction.Zionists denounce those who would disrespect the “free flow of ideas within the international scholarly… Continue reading A question of academic freedom

Disruptive Protest And Freedom Of Speech: A User’s Guide

New Matilda, March 19 2015. Read the original here. When are protesters justified in disrupting a public event? Can they legitimately do so in the name of freedom of speech? What aspects of the context change the rights and wrongs of a disruption? These kinds of questions are among the most delicate, complicated and important… Continue reading Disruptive Protest And Freedom Of Speech: A User’s Guide

Peak Hour Traffic Trumps The Right To Protest, Court Finds

New Matilda, August 22 2014. Read the original here. And down the slippery slope we go, a few inches more. In a national context characterised by expansion of the state’s powers to monitor the internet, punish whistleblowers, and restrict the power of the media to report matters of public interest, a further incremental affront to… Continue reading Peak Hour Traffic Trumps The Right To Protest, Court Finds

Intellectual freedom under threat at Sydney

New Matilda, April 18 2013. Read the original here. The University of Sydney’s cancelation of a June talk by the Dalai Lama, revealed last night by the ABC, is the latest in a series of failures of Sydney’s management to uphold the university’s elementary intellectual and social responsibilities. China forms a key international student market… Continue reading Intellectual freedom under threat at Sydney

Geert Wilders is a lightning-rod for racists

New Matilda, February 21, 2013. Read the original here. What do you do when a famous racist politician descends on Australia in a fanfare of media? Geert Wilders’ current speaking tour makes the question topical, raising key issues about free speech, the political response to racism, and the utility of protest. No sooner had Wilders’… Continue reading Geert Wilders is a lightning-rod for racists