National Freedoms Symposia

The ALRC is holding a national series of discussions around the ALRC Freedoms Inquiry, to be held in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.

The events are free to attend, but space is limited and reservations are essential.

We will update this page with more information about individual events as it becomes available.


In partnership with TC Beirne School of law

Date: Wednesday 2 September, 5.30-7:00pm

Topic: A home is no longer a castle? – real property rights in the context of mining and environment claims


  • Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, ALRC President and Commissioner for the Inquiry
  • Professor Jonathan Fulcher, Director CIMEL/IMELP
  • Lorraine Finlay, School of Law, Murdoch University
  • Dr Noeleen McNamara, School of Law & Justice, University of Southern Queensland

Venue: Courtroom 1 at the Commonwealth Law Courts, 119 North Quay, Brisbane

RSVP: By Monday 31 August to

Download Brisbane invitation (PDF) >>


Date: Monday 21 September 2015, 1.00 – 200pm

Topic: Accommodating rights? Religion, speech and equality in Australia


  • Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, ALRC President and Commissioner for the Inquiry
  • Professor Andrew Stewart, John Bray Professor of Law, Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide
  • The Honourable Catherine Branson QC
  • Associate Professor Anne Hewitt, Adelaide Law School, The University of Adelaide, South Australia
  • Dr Matthew Stubbs  Associate Professor, Adelaide Law School, Co-Editor, Adelaide Law Review, The University of Adelaide
  • Dr Keith Thompson, Senior Lecturer, Associate Dean, The University of Notre Dame, Sydney

Venue: Law Lecture Theatre 2, Level 3, Ligertwood Building, Adelaide University North Terrace Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide

RSVP not required.

Download Adelaide invitation (PDF) >>


Date: Tuesday, 29 September 2015, 6.00 – 7.30pm

Topic: Freedom’s Limits: Speech, Association, and Movement in the Australian Legal System

Freedom of speech, association, and movement receive some limited protection through the operation of the common law and under the Constitution. However, these freedoms are not absolute and are frequently in tension with imperatives such as public safety and the protection of rights of others. For example, in recent years, legislation introduced to combat organised crime and terrorism has made provision for anti-consorting laws and control orders. Similarly, section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) curbs offensive speech where this relates to grounds such as a person’s race. In light of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Interim Report on Rights and Freedoms, released in July 2015, this panel explores the nature of freedom of speech, association, and movement, how they are currently protected, laws that interfere with them, and the circumstances in which such incursions are justified.


  • Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, ALRC President and Commissioner for the Inquiry
  • Grant Donaldson SC, Solicitor General of WA
  • Professor Paul Fairall, Foundation Dean of Law, School of Law, Curtin University
  • Dr Murray Wesson, Law School, The University of Western Australia
  • Dr Augusto Zimmermann, School of Law, Murdoch University
  • Lorraine Finlay, School of Law, Murdoch University

Venue: The Constitutional Centre of Western Australia40 Havelock St, West Perth

Parking is available on site


Download Perth invitation (PDF) >>


Date:  Wednesday, 30 September 2015, 5:30-7.30pm

Topics: Fair trial, procedural fairness and other traditional rights


  • (Chair) The Hon Justice John Eric Middleton, Part-time Commissioner, Federal Court of Australia, Melbourne
  • Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, ALRC President and Commissioner for the Inquiry
  • Professor Jeremy Gans, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Matthew Groves, Professor, Faculty of Law, Monash University
  • Professor Adrienne Stone, Director, Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, University of Melbourne

Venue: Federal Court, Level 8, Court Room 8A, 305 William Street, Melbourne

RSVP: By Friday 25 September 2015 to (02) 8238 6300

Download Melbourne invitation (PDF) >>


Date: Thursday, 8 October 2015, 5:30-7.00pm

Topic: Proportionality and the Constitution


  • Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, ALRC President and Commissioner for the Inquiry
  • Professor Denise Meyerson, Macquarie Law School, Macquarie University  
  • Professor Anne Twomey, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney
  • Michael Sexton SC, NSW Solicitor-General

Venue: Federal Court, Queens Square, Sydney

RSVP: By Tuesday 6 October 2015 to (02) 8238 6300

Download Sydney invitation (PDF) >>