The Joint Committee on Human Rights call for written submissions on freedom of speech in universities. The deadline for submissions is 15 December 2017.
Universities have a statutory duty to ensure free speech. Yet Prevent Duty Guidance for Higher Education places limits on this freedom.
The Committee invites submissions of no more than 1,500 words from interested groups and individuals, including on:
- 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?