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Religious Organisations’ Tax Exemption Status: Mark Sneddon quoted in Victorian Parliament Debate

In early May, the Victorian Parliament debated proposed legislation which would see the tax-exempted status of many faith-based organisations revoked. Mark Sneddon and ICS were closely involved in assessing the bill, consulting with parliamentarians, and providing commentary on the potential consequences of the new laws. Below are extracts from the debate which cite Mark's important

By | May 22nd, 2018|Freedom of Conscience and Religion|

EVENT: Public Lecture hosted by RASP, featuring ICS’ Dr Sharon Rodrick

On 18 May the Federal Government’s Inquiry into Religious Liberty under the Chairmanship of Philip Ruddock will present its report. It is very timely that the University of Divinity's Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy (RASP) invites you to attend the second annual RASP Public Conversation on this significant topic on 1 June

By | May 21st, 2018|Freedom of Conscience and Religion|

EVENT: Mark Sneddon Public Lecture on Proposed NT Laws – Undermining Freedoms

You are invited to a public meeting to hear Mark Sneddon speak on the proposed changes to the NT Anti-Discrimination Act and potential undermining of freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of religion. Location: Charles Darwin University Mal Nairn Lecture Theatre Date: 30th May, 2018 Time: 19:30-21:30

By | May 21st, 2018|Freedom of Conscience and Religion|

Testing the Limits of Diversity: A response to “Archipelago or Landmass?”

Editor's note: Will Jones, a UK-based writer and philosopher, has responded to Pete Mulherin and Simon Kennedy's article in POLICY magazine about the importance of voluntary associations for a healthy liberal democracy. We appreciate the civil and thoughtful interaction with our work on this vital issue. You can read some more of his work here. Read

By | February 27th, 2018|Civil Society, Featured, Freedom of Association|

ICS Submission to the Review Panel on Religious Freedom

The Institute for Civil Society made the following submission to the Review Panel on Religious Freedom in February 2018. A PDF of the submission can be found here, including full references and appendices. SUBMISSION TO THE REVIEW PANEL ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM Recommendations: A general statutory limitation on government (Federal, State, Territory and local) interference with

By | February 15th, 2018|Freedom of Conscience and Religion|

ICS Submission to the Northern Territory Government on the Anti-Discrimination Act

In September 2017, the Northern Territory's Department of the Attorney General and Justice released a Discussion Paper about the "Modernisation of the Anti-Discrimination Act". They called for comments on the paper. The Institute for Civil Society made the following submission in January 2018. A PDF of the paper can be found here.   Comment on NT

Religion and Human Rights: Mark Sneddon on Open House

"The result of the marriage survey, with its consequent change to the law, has opened up the question of religious freedom in Australia. The issue is never too far from the surface, but people disagree about whether and how to protect freedom of religion. Australia is a signatory to international covenants that guarantee freedom of

By | November 21st, 2017|Freedom of Conscience and Religion|

The Same Sex Marriage Survey: Legal Issues and the Need for Broad Based Freedoms Protections

Executive Summary This paper outlines some of the implications of same sex marriage. One of these is the accelerated legal and cultural damage to freedom of speech, conscience and religion for those who support traditional marriage. That issue is not just about forcing ministers to conduct weddings or bakers to bake cakes for same sex

By | September 19th, 2017|Freedom of Conscience and Religion|

Archipelago or Landmass? Voluntary Associations, Civil Society and the Health of Liberal Democracy

The antidote to the slow yet real monopolisation of community by the state is a strong civil society and the voluntary associations that thrive within it. Voluntary associations are key to protecting diversity in a pluralistic society, write ICS' Peter Mulherin and Simon P. Kennedy in the Centre for Independent Studies' quarterly POLICY Magazine. Read

By | July 10th, 2017|Freedom of Association|

Freedom of Association: Sanity Succeeds on Spring Street

On Tuesday afternoon, Victoria’s upper house of Parliament voted down the Labor Government’s Equal Opportunity Amendment Bill. The Bill was a direct attack on religious groups in Victoria, as it restricted the ability of religious groups to make employment decisions based on whether a candidate or employee agreed with and practised the religion. The Bill

By | December 7th, 2016|Freedom of Association|