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Comments on the Exposure Draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill 2019 and the Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Freedom of Religion) Bill 2019

PDF version available here. Executive summary ICS believes that the Religious Discrimination Bill (RD Bill) has much to commend it. However, there are a number of amendments and improvements that should be made in order to bolster the protection of freedom of religion and to meet Australia’s obligations under Article 18 of the International Covenant on

By | September 25th, 2019|Freedom of Conscience and Religion|

Policy and Drafting Issues in a Religious Discrimination Bill

Revised 24 July 2019 PDF version here. This paper raises and makes recommendations concerning some key policy and drafting issues for a Religious Discrimination Act (RDA). It is recognised that an RDA is only the first step in implementing the government’s election commitments in relation to the Ruddock report and its response to broader concerns about

By | August 27th, 2019|Freedom of Conscience and Religion|

The Campaign to Remove Religious Freedoms in Anti-Discrimination Law – Video Explainer

Mark Sneddon took part in a conversation at St John’s Cathedral Parramatta on Religious Freedom with John Anderson AO and John Steenhoff in April 2019. In this excerpt Mark discusses Religious Freedom provisions in Anti-Discrimination Law and the campaign to remove them including the Greens and ALP Senate Bills in November 2018 – February 2019

By | June 19th, 2019|Freedom of Conscience and Religion|

Australians Want Protection for Freedom of Religion and Conscience

Prof. Mark Sneddon, ICS Executive Director, discusses the Galaxy poll on freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, and the importance of these issues for the 2019 Federal Election. A new poll, conducted by YouGov Galaxy and published by the Institute for Civil Society on Wednesday shows a vast majority of Australians think freedom of conscience

Poll Shows Strong Support for Protecting Freedoms of Thought, Conscience, Belief

A new YouGov Galaxy opinion survey shows that Australians strongly support the need for legal protections for freedoms of thought, conscience and belief (including religious belief) and that support has risen sharply in the last two years. 75% of those surveyed agreed that freedom of thought, conscience and belief in public through speech, practice and teaching

By | May 14th, 2019|Freedom of Conscience and Religion|

Greens’ 2018 Schools Bill to Regulate Sermons?

Pre-empting the release of the Ruddock Panel Report on Religious Freedom, the Greens recently introduced a Bill to the Senate. It seeks to amend the Sex Discrimination Act and risks the freedom of religious Australians. The leaked recommendations of the Ruddock Report would continue the current exemptions in the Sex Discrimination Act that allow religious

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

NT’s proposed changes to Anti-Discrimination Law are a bad move for freedoms

Our society is made up of lots of different groups with different views on what makes for a good life. Atheist and religious. CLP and Labor. Socialists and capitalists. Gay and straight. AFL and NRL. Darwin Buffaloes and Southern Districts Crocs supporters. Having a diversity of groups with a diversity of views is a sign

By | May 30th, 2018|Freedom of Association|

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|

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