Australian Freedom of Speech Laws
The Australian Constitution does not expressly protect freedom of speech or expression. In 1992, however, the High Court of Australia held that a right to freedom of expression, in so far as public and political discussion were concerned, was implied in the Constitution. This right was thought to be an essential requirement of democratic and representative government and thus implied into the Australian Constitution, which had established such a system of government. Subsequent cases have made determinations on the scope of this implied freedom. It has been found to extend to the publication of material:
discussing government and political matters generally;
relating to the performance of individuals of their duties as members of the Parliament; and
discussing the performance, conduct and fitness for office of members of the Commonwealth and State legislatures.
The right does not extend to more generally to a right to freedom of expression where political issues are not involved.
| Return to Topic Menu | Return to Main Menu |