The two University freedoms

Date & time

1–2pm Thursday 10 October 2019


Phillipa Weeks Staff Library

Building 7
ANU College of Law
5 Fellows Rd


Professor Adrienne Stone


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College seminar
Adrienne Stone

Two concepts are much bandied about in contemporary public debate about universities: Academic freedom and freedom of speech. Almost everyone agrees that they are very important but opinions differ wildly as to what these two freedoms require. In this seminar, Professor Stone argues that two freedoms are quite distinct: Academic freedom springs from the university’s mission to advance and disseminate knowledge whereas freedom of speech is important because universities are also institutions of civil society.

Professor Stone argues for the primacy of the university’s teaching and research mission. Teaching and research are ordinarily enhanced by a strong and vibrant public debate and culture of freedom of speech. However, where freedom of speech undermines or disregards academic standards and values, freedom of speech should give way.


  • Professor Adrienne Stone »

    Adrienne Stone holds a Chair at Melbourne Law School where she is also a  Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow, a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Director of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies. She researches in the areas of constitutional law and constitutional theory and holds an Australia Laureate Fellowship (2017-2021).

    She has published widely in international journals including in the Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law;  International Journal of Constitutional Law, Constitutional Commentary,  the Toronto Law Journal and in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. With Cheryl Saunders AO she is editor of the Oxford Handbook on the Australian Constitution and with Frederick Schauer, she is editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Freedom of Speech.

    She is the President of the International Association of Constitutional Law and is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and  Australian Academy of Law. Through the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies she is extensively engaged with government and non-governmental organisations on constitutional questions including freedom of speech, constitutional recognition of Indigenous Peoples, and bills of rights.

    She has held visiting positions in the United States, Canada and France.  She delivered papers and lectures by invitation at many universities in Australia, North America, Europe and Asia.

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