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Freedom of Speech in Universities inquiry

Inquiry

The Committee found that a number of factors are limiting free speech including:

  • intolerant attitudes, often incorrectly using the banner of “no platforming”
    and “safe-space” policies;
  • incidents of unacceptable intimidatory behaviour by protestors intent on
    preventing free speech and debate;
  • unnecessary bureaucracy imposed on those organising events;
  • fear and confusion over what the Prevent duty entails;
  • regulatory complexity;
  • unduly complicated and cautious guidance from the Charity Commission;
  • concern by student unions not to infringe what they perceive to be restrictions.

The Committee has examined the impact of these factors.

Responses published

Reports, special reports and government responses

View all reports and responses
8th Report - Freedom of Speech in Universities: Responses
Inquiry Freedom of Speech in Universities inquiry
HC 1279 / HL 162
Report
4th Report - Freedom of Speech in Universities
Inquiry Freedom of Speech in Universities inquiry
HC 589 / HL 111
Report
Annex: Free speech: guidance for universities and students organising events
Inquiry Freedom of Speech in Universities inquiry
HC 589 / Annex to HL 111
Report

Oral evidence transcripts

View all oral evidence transcripts
29 November 2017
Inquiry Freedom of Speech in Universities inquiry
Witnesses Liron Velleman, Union of Jewish Students, Ben Ryan, Theos Think Tank, Andrew Copson, Humanists UK, Yusuf Hassan, Federation of Student Islamic Societies, Charlotte Moore, and Alyaa Ebbiary.
Oral Evidence
7 February 2018
Inquiry Freedom of Speech in Universities inquiry
Witnesses Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, Minister of State for Security and Economic Crime, Home Office, and Mr Sam Gyimah MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation; Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Joanne Midgley, Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience, University of the West England, Bristol, Jonathan Wallcroft, Vice President, Brandon Gage, and Francesca Smith, Politics and International Relations Society, University of the West of England, Bristol (at 5.00pm).
Oral Evidence
24 January 2018
Inquiry Freedom of Speech in Universities inquiry
Witnesses Aarti Thakor, Head of Legal Compliance, Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement, Charity Commission for England and Wales, and Sir Michael Barber, Chair, Office for Students .
Oral Evidence
The Office for Students responds to Committee's report on Freedom of Speech in Universities (FSU0116)
The Charity Commission responds to Committee's report on Freedom of Speech in Universities (FSU0115)
Charity Commission for England and Wales (FSU0098)

Contact us

The Committee is unable to look into individual cases

  • Email: jchr@parliament.uk
  • Phone: 0207 219 2793 (general enquiries) | 020 7219 8430 (media enquiries)
  • Address: Joint Committee on Human Rights, Houses of Parliament. London. SW1A 0AA