Joint Committee on Human Rights

Freedom of Speech in Universities inquiry

Inquiry status: open

Oral evidence ongoing.

The Committee is no longer accepting written submissions. If you would like to send a submission please contact the Committee staff.

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Scope of the inquiry

The Committee has launched this inquiry to find out:

  • Whether Government policy on free speech in universities is coherent
  • Taken together, do the Prevent duty and the statutory duty to ensure free speech appropriately balance Convention rights and public interest considerations?
  • The role of the Office for Students in ensuring freedom of speech
  • University authorities have a statutory duty to secure freedom of speech, including on student union premises. Student unions say they are private bodies and have a right to refuse speakers. Should university authorities have responsibility for the activities of their student unions? If so, to what extent?
  • Is there concrete evidence that free speech is being suppressed in universities? Who should be responsible for monitoring this?
  • If there is a problem, in what ways is free speech being suppressed? By whom? What are the causes? Is any problem increasing?
Terms of reference: Freedom of Speech in Universities

Latest evidence

  • 10 Jan 2018 - Freedom of Speech in Universities - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF248 KB) Published 12 Jan 2018

    Evidence given by Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Edinburgh, Patrick Kilduff, President, Edinburgh University Students’ Association , Professor Adam Tickell, Vice Chancellor, University of Sussex, Frida Gustafsson, President, Student Union, University of Sussex, and Baroness Valerie Amos CH, Director, SOAS University of London.

Next meeting(s)

17 January 2018 3:15 pm

Oral Evidence Session

Freedom of Speech in Universities
View details
Witness(es)

Amatey Doku, Vice President, National Union of Students
Wes Streeting MP
Professor Alison Scott-Baumann, SOAS University of London
Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research, London School of Economics and Political Science
Professor Steven Greer, Professor of Human Rights, University of Bristol
The Baroness Deech DBE

Location

Other - Committee Room 1

24 January 2018 3:15 pm

Oral Evidence Session

Freedom of Speech in Universities
View details
Witness(es)

Location

Other - Committee Room 1

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