Charter of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom to be adopted – News – The University of Sydney

Posted: December 15, 2019 at 12:41 am

The recommendations and revised Charter were developed in response to an independent review of freedom of speech in Australian higher education providers, commissioned by the federal government and conducted by former High Court Chief Justice the Hon Robert French AC.

A key recommendation of Mr Frenchs report was that all registered Australian higher education providers should voluntarily adopt a Model Code for the Protection of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom in Australian Higher Education Providers developed as part of the report.

Dr Spence welcomed the French review and established a University French Review Model Code Implementation Group to prepare recommendations on how to implement the Code most effectively to further strengthen the Universitys already robust framework promoting and protecting freedom of speech and academic freedom on its campuses and facilities.

The Implementation Groups report and recommendations were released to the University community in October. They have since been endorsed by the executive and key governance committees, including the Academic Board last month with just minor amendments, and by the Senate yesterday afternoon.

Dr Spence explained that one of the amendments made by the Academic Board was to include the word courage in the Charter.

This change recognises that as an institution and a community we greatly value courage, civility and respect and seek to promote a climate where people disagree well, Dr Spence said.

The term disagreeing well was also added to the 2008 Charter on recommendation of the Implementation Group.

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Charter of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom to be adopted - News - The University of Sydney

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