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Free Intellectual Inquiry and Speech Policy


The purpose of this policy is to ensure the freedom of intellectual inquiry and speech for all staff and students, of Global Leadership Institute (GLI) relating to their area of academic research and scholarship without fear or favour.


Academic freedom: includes the rights of all staff and students for intellectual inquiry and speech without any hindrance including to:

  • Hold and express opinions about the operations of the Institute and higher education policy more generally;

  • Pursue critical and open inquiry and (where appropriate) to teach, assess, develop curricula, publish and research;

  • If appropriate, participate in public debates as a recognised expert or as a person with recognised specialist knowledge;

  • Express unpopular or controversial views, although this does not mean the right to harass, vilify or intimidate other persons or to demean alternative points of view.

Freedom of speech: includes academic freedom as well as the following:

  • Freedom of academic staff and students to make public comment on any issue in their personal capacities, not speaking either on behalf of the Institute or as representative of the Institute;

  • Freedom of academic staff to participate in professional or representative academic bodies;

  • Freedom of students to participate in student societies and associations;

  • Autonomy of the Institute which resides in its Governing Board, Executive Management Team and academic staff relating to the choice of courses, the ways in which they are taught and research activities and the ways in which they are conducted.

External visitor: any person who is not an invited visiting speaker and for whom permission is sought to speak on the Institute’s premises or facilities.

Internal visitor: any person who has been invited by the Institute or by a student society or association or group of students or representative body or by a member or members of the academic staff of the Institute to speak on the Institute’s premises or facilities.

Speech: extends to all forms of expressive conduct including oral speech and written, virtual, artistic, musical and performing works and activity; the word ‘speak’ has a corresponding meaning.

The objective of protecting the wellbeing of staff and students:
  • Includes the objective of ensuring that no member of staff and no student suffers unfair disadvantage or unfair adverse discrimination by reason of their inherent attributes;

  • Includes the objective of ensuring that no member of staff and no student is subject to threatening or intimidating behaviour by another person or persons on account of anything they have said in exercising their freedom of speech;

  • Supports reasonable and proportionate measures to prevent any person from using lawful speech which is intended to insult, humiliate or intimidate other persons and which a reasonable person would regard, in the circumstances, as likely to have one or more of those effects;

  • Does not extend to protecting any person from feeling offended or shocked or insulted by the lawful speech of another.

GLI property includes:
  • Real property forming part of the Institute;

  • Precincts;

  • Buildings or discrete parts of buildings;

  • Technology and academic learning systems;

  • Building spaces such as lecture theatres, laboratories, libraries, classrooms and meeting rooms;

  • Landscape features within the Institute domain that may be defined by areas, locations, focal points, gardens, trees, playing fields, walkways, streets, bridges, stairs and terraces.


  • GLI supports and encourages staff and students to pursue lines of enquiry and to express personal views, both within the Institute and publicly, in their area of academic expertise;

  • Academic staff must make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking on behalf of the Institute. Also, members of academic staff will not identify themselves as a staff member of the Institute when speaking, writing or otherwise communicating on matters not within the province of their academic expertise;

  • Academic staff and student responsibilities include approaching any issue in a balanced, open, fair and academically rigorous way;

  • Responsibilities of GLI include the creation and maintenance of a culture that fosters such enquiry and which does not, in any way, penalise those who may express views that do not align with the views of the institution;

  • GLI is not restricted nor its exercise burdened by limits or conditions other than those imposed by law or by reasonable regulation of access to and use of the Institute’s premises and facilities and the discharge of its duty of care to those who come on to its premises;

  • GLI ensures that freedom of speech and intellectual inquiry as aspects of academic freedom are treated as paramount values by the Institute;

  • GLI affirms the importance of autonomy in the regulation of its affairs, including in the protection of freedom of speech and academic freedom of the Institute community;

  • Any power or discretion conferred on the Institute or the Student Representative Group including powers or discretions conferred under contract or workplace agreements or deriving from property rights, whether as to real or other property, shall be exercised, so far as is reasonably practicable, in accordance with these principles;

  • Every member of staff and every student at the Institute have the same freedom of lawful speech in connection with activities conducted on Institute premises or otherwise in connection with the Institute, as any other person in their circumstances, subject only to the constraints imposed by:

    • Reasonable and proportionate regulation of conduct necessary to the discharge of the Institute’s teaching and research activities;

    • Right and freedom of all to express themselves and to hear and receive information and opinions;

    • Reasonable and proportionate regulation of conduct to enable the Institute to fulfil its objective to fostering the wellbeing of students, staff and visitors.

  • Subject to reasonable and proportionate regulation of the kind referred to in the previous principle, a person’s lawful expressive conduct on the Institute’s premises or in connection with the Institute activity shall not constitute misconduct nor attract any penalty or other adverse action by reference only to its content or manner of delivery;

  • The exercise by a academic staff member or by a student of academic freedom in accordance with these principles shall not constitute misconduct nor attract any penalty or other adverse action;

  • In entering into affiliation, collaborative or contractual arrangements with third parties and in accepting donations from third parties subject to conditions, the Institute shall take all reasonable steps to minimise the constraints imposed by such arrangements or conditions on the freedom of speech or academic freedom of any member of the academic staff or students carrying on research or study under such arrangements or subject to such conditions;

  • The Institute has the right and responsibility to determine the terms and conditions upon which it shall permit external visitors and invited visitors to speak on Institute premises and use Institute facilities and in so doing may:

    • Require the person or persons organising the event to comply with the Institute’s booking procedures and to provide information relevant to the conduct of any event, and any public safety and security issues;

    • Distinguish between invited visitors and external visitors in framing any such requirements and conditions;

    • Refuse permission to any invited visitor or external visitor to speak on Institute premises or at Institute facilities where the content of the speech is or is likely to:

      • Be unlawful or in breach of any lease or license under which the Institute occupies the premises;

      • Prejudice the fulfilment by the Institute of its objective of fostering the wellbeing of staff;

      • Involve the advancement of theories or propositions which do not meet scholarly standards to such an extent as to be detrimental to the Institute’s character as an institution of higher learning;

      • In the case of an external visitor, require the person or persons seeking permission for the use of Institute premises or facilities to contribute in whole or in part to the cost of providing security and other measures in the interests of public safety and order in connection with the event at which the external visitor is speaking. 

  • Subject to the preceding principles, the Institute shall not refuse permission for the use of its premises or facilities by an external visitor or invited visitor solely based on the likely content of the visitor’s proposed speech;

  • The Institute may provide special support including dedicated rooms or places for any particular group of students, which is likely to benefit from such support in the discharge of its objective of fostering the wellbeing of students.


The President is responsible to ensure that the policy is implemented across GLI. The Dean and the Registrar are responsible to ensure that staff in their relevant departments are made aware of this policy.


Whole Institute


All staff and students


If a staff member or students believes their academic freedom has been compromised, they may follow the Staff Grievance Policy or Student Grievance and Appeals Policy. GLI has the right to act in accordance with its policies if a staff member or student breaches this policy.

Policy Owner

Chair, Executive Management Team

Approval Date
Approving Body

Governing Board

Reviewal Date
Endorsing Body

Executive Management Team



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