Free speech in the lucky country

by Bill Browne

Freedom of expression is under threat in Australia. So far, parliament, the judiciary, the press and the public have failed to fully secure free speech.

Formally protecting freedom of expression in the Constitution or law would bring Australia in line with other Western democracies and help defend this fundamental right.

A constitutional amendment, like that proposed in the Constitution Alteration (Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press) Bill 2019, would protect freedom of expression and be a potential stepping stone to a full constitutional Bill of Rights. Alternatively, if this Bill is not supported then serious consideration should be given to how to legislate a Bill of Rights. In the meantime, creeping state censorship and restriction will be a growing threat to the liberties of Australians.

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