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‘Free speech is under threat’: Calls to fine universities who don’t protect free speech

The Centre for Independent Studies is calling on Government to fine universities who fail to adequately protect and safeguard freedom of speech on campus.

According to the think tank, universities are no longer a place where a robust exchange of ideologically diverse ideas springs forth.  Rather, they say the phenomenon of “no-platforming” and censoring group-think is reigning supreme, depriving so-called “ controversial” conservative views of a voice.

“There’s this view that young students are like snowflakes and if they encounter  different opinions it will do them harm and be offensive,” Jeremy Sammut explains.

“There’s also the idea that these places have to be diverse and what they actually mean by diversity is that people have to think alike.”

“Freedom of speech is under threat.”

The think tank says government intervention by way of fines could be the key to restoring free speech, which should be the “lifeblood” of an institution’s ethos.

“If universities won’t take action to self-regulate and implement free speech policies that protect the rights of everyone, the government needs to step in and show a bit of political will,” he tells Luke Grant.

“The government should make them do what they’re meant to do, which is be places committed to free and open inquiry. If they can’t do that, they should be fined.”

“If money’s on the line, I reckon that will force universities to find the institutional will to defend free speech.”


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