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Gagging for Freedom?


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The Federal Court action against columnist Andrew Bolt has sparked a heated debate between those who believe that his comments contravene the Racial Discrimination Act and those who argue that the legal action is an assault on freedom of speech and democracy.

Whether you agree or disagree with Bolt, the debate has created compelling dichotomies, pitting freedom of speech against censorship, racial discrimination against political correctness. Objective opinions are muddied by subjective reactions to the personalities involved – divisive personalities like Bolt and Geoff Clark. Bolt’s writings are deliberately provocative – but does that mean he should be silenced?


Leslie Cannold

Dr Leslie Cannold’s expertise is gender and inspirational leadership. Her public contributions in these areas have earned her awards for Australian Humanist of the Year and multiple notices as one of Australia’s most influential public intellectuals and women. Leslie is a nonfiction and fiction ... Read more

Jonathan Green

Jonathan Green has been an editor, writer, commentator and broadcaster in a 40-year career as a journalist, beginning with a cadetship at The Canberra Times and taking in various Australian dailies: the Melbourne Herald, The Herald Sun, the Sunday Herald, The Sunday Age and 15 years at The Age. Jona... Read more

Bernard Keane

Bernard has been Crikey’s correspondent in Canberra since 2008; he writes on politics, media and economics. He was educated at the University of Sydney, where he studied history. Before joining Crikey he was a public servant, and worked in transport policy and as a speechwriter before moving into ... Read more

James Allan

James Allan is the Garrick Professor of Law at the University of Queensland. James is a native born Canadian who practised law with a large firm in Toronto and at the Bar in London.He has taught in Hong Kong, New Zealand and Canada and has had sabbaticals at Cornell and in Halifax, the latter as the... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.