Griffith U says no free speech decision before campus talks

No decision on the proposed national code without university-wide discussions

Griffith U Vice Chancellor Carolyn Evans knows more than a lot about the constantly contested ground where beliefs clash. The intersection of human rights legislation and religious belief is an issue she writes about.

As such, close observers of the campus free speech pie-fight are watching what Griffith U will do in response to the push for universities to adopt the model code in the French review and the possibility of legislation (CMM June 19)

So CMM asked and the university responds;

“Robust debate and discussion play a central role in intellectual inquiry across the educational, research and engagement functions of the university. Griffith U is considering the French model code against our existing policies and enterprise bargaining agreement, as well as its implications for the university community. The adoption of any code requires consultation with academics, students and the University Council.”

Clause 47 of the university’s academic staff enterprise agreement certainly guarantees their right to; “participate in public debates and express opinions about issues and ideas related to their academic and professional areas, about higher education issues as they affect their institution and about higher education issues more generally,” to, “participate in professional and representative bodies without fear of harassment or intimidation,” and “engage in community service without fear of harassment, intimidation or unfair treatment.”

This would seem to cover cases of staff inviting speakers with controversial views on to campus. And the university makes clear that if anything is to be done it will be after people across the university community get to speak, freely.


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