Dean statement following Sydney University Law Society event

2 September 2022
Professor Simon Bronitt upholds value of free speech

Following disruption to the event on 1 September 2022 featuring Malcolm Turnbull AC, Head of School and Dean of Sydney Law School Professor Simon Bronitt reiterated our institutional commitment to safe and respectful debate and discussion.

“As our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark Scott AO, said at the National Press Club earlier this week, protecting and upholding freedom of speech is a core value of the University. It is the foundation for free academic inquiry and also for ensuring a respectful and safe learning environment in which colleagues and students can disagree and debate matters of importance.

“Free speech has limits: it is not a licence to shout down or forcibly obstruct or intimidate those who hold different views. The Law School has many scholars engaged in the challenging work of ensuring that this balance is embedded in our teaching programs, informs their contributions to public debate and law reform, and is practiced in our local governance processes.

“The Dean wishes to reassure former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull AC, that the disruption of the student-organised Sydney University Law Society event is inconsistent with the values which his alma mater stands for, and reiterates our institutional commitment to ensuring that the University and Law School continues to provide an open platform for debate and discussion which is respectful of diverse views and remains safe for visitors.”

Latest news