University Council endorses new Freedom of Speech policy

The Angel

The University of Melbourne has adopted a new Freedom of Speech policy to align with and supplement its long-standing Academic Freedom policy.

The University’s Council this morning endorsed the new Freedom of Speech policy to promote “critical and free enquiry, informed intellectual discourse and public debate within the University and in the wider society”.

The policy makes explicit the commitment to lawful freedom of speech in its activities and operations. It has been developed under the leadership of Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell.

Chancellor Allan Myers said the Council and University leadership are united in safeguarding and protecting Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom of Expression at the University of Melbourne. “Our policies are aligned with the principles proposed by Robert French.

“The University of Melbourne is proud of its Academic Freedom of Expression policy, which is robust. The new Freedom of Speech policy complements our existing policy.”

Professor Maskell said freedom of speech and academic freedom of expression are core values of the University of Melbourne. “Freedom of speech is a fundamental principle of our University - it always has been and always will be.

“Our new policy follows extensive consultation within the University community both before and after the French Review was undertaken. The policy will safeguard students, staff and invited visitors on our campuses and ensure freedom of speech continues to flourish at the University of Melbourne.”

Professor Maskell said: “It is the responsibility of universities to ensure they have strong policies in place to protect freedom of speech and academic freedom.”

The new University of Melbourne Freedom of Speech policy is available here and the existing Academic Freedom of Expression policy is available here.