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Anti-free speech laws are really anti-conscience laws

Yesterday NSW LDP Senator David Leyonhjelm addressed the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Free Speech 14. An excerpt of his speech ($) was published in The Australian:

Laws limiting racist speech are not really about speech at all, but are intended to prevent unacceptable thoughts. To believe our thoughts can be regulated by restricting our speech is delusional. No law will stop people from Continue Reading →

What an IPA member said to me about freedom of speech in Australia

Last night John emailed IPA members about the importance of freedom of speech:

Message to IPA members from John Roskam

Today Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the Coalition was abandoning its promise to repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, the law that sent Andrew Bolt to court.

Back in February last year I wrote to IPA members about something Chris, who’s an IPA member from Sydney, once said to me.  Since then I’ve often spoken to Chris about the power of what he told me and I’ve reflected on it. Continue Reading →

Coalition failure to restore free speech

“The Coalition’s failure to fulfil its promise to restore free speech in Australia by repealing section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is incredibly disappointing,” said John Roskam, Executive Director of the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is the law that was used against Herald Sun journalist Andrew Bolt in 2011.

On 6 August 2012 to an audience of IPA members in Sydney, then opposition leader

Tony Abbott promised that “The Coalition will repeal section 18C in its current form.” He repeated that promise in an address to the IPA’s 70th Anniversary Dinner in Melbourne on 4 April 2013.

“Abandoning the repeal of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is a broken promise,” said Mr Roskam.

“Freedom of speech is fundamental to democracy. If people are not free to debate and discuss ideas then we no longer live in a free society. To retain section 18C is to reject basic liberal principles.

“It is extremely disappointing that the Coalition no longer regards restoring free speech as a priority. Nothing is more important than freedom of speech – it is our most important freedom,” said Mr Roskam.

For media and comment: John Roskam, Executive Director, 0415 475 673, [email protected] or James Paterson, Director of Communications, 0423 502 147, [email protected]