Protection of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom

For more than 50 years La Trobe has been an institution which has embraced free speech and enabled a robust diversity of views. It has enshrined rights to freedom of speech and academic freedom in its Collective Agreement, policy statements and in the La Trobe University Act 2009 which requires that the University serve the public interest by “promoting critical and free enquiry, informed intellectual discourse and public debate” and that Council members have “an appreciation of the values of a university relating to teaching, research, independence and academic freedom.”

In late 2018, the Minister of Education appointed Justice French to undertake an independent review of policies supporting freedom of expression in Australian higher education. That review produced a Model Code with respect to Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom for universities to choose to adopt, with or without modification.

In addition to the protections already in place at La Trobe, the University adopted the French Model Code in December 2019 following an extensive consultative process.

More information about the Protection of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom Policy (Model Code) and related policy statements are in our Policy Library.