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Group of Eight Principles on Demonstrations on Campus

Australia’s Group of Eight (Go8) universities respect all those who peacefully protest and constructively exercise their own freedom of speech while recognising and actively embracing the freedom of speech of those with whom they hold deep disagreement.

These are the hallmarks of democracy and of the vibrancy of universities.

The rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are subject to such reasonable limits as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom.

Our universities also need to be able to undertake their important educational and research efforts on behalf of the nation.

Accordingly, the Go8 universities affirm the following over-arching principles, which sit alongside our existing institutional policies, procedures and codes of conduct.

  1. Go8 universities reject all forms of hate and prejudice, including antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of racism and religious intolerance.
  2. Go8 universities reaffirm their commitment to the Model Code on Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom (the “French Model Code”) for all members of their communities.
  3. Go8 universities support the right to peaceful, non-violent demonstrations on campus as the exercise of lawful Freedom of Speech, provided they are conducted in accordance with their obligations to ensure both the safety of their communities and the delivery of their core operations of teaching and research.
  4. Go8 universities are committed to upholding the rights and responsibilities that accompany the right to Freedom of Speech for all members of our university communities.
  5. The Go8 Universities seek to work with the government to develop an Anti-Racism and Hate Speech Code to eliminate antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of racial and religious prejudice across university campuses.