Free Speech at Work to be Put Under the Legal Microscope

Kieran Pender, Senior Legal Advisor with the International Bar Association and ANU College of Law Visiting Fellow, will moderate the panel discussion on free speech at work.

IPAA is pleased to partner with the ANU College of Law in the delivery of a free webinar to celebrate the College’s 60th Anniversary called ‘Free speech at work: Folau, Banerji and beyond?’.

An impressive panel will explore the issue of free speech at work on Wednesday 22 July 2020, 6.30 pm – 7.45 pm.  Panellists include Josh Bornstein, National Head of Employment Law, Maurice Blackburn, Kate Eastman SC, Senior Counsel, New Chambers, Distinguished Professor Adrienne Stone, The University of Melbourne, and Professor Andrew Podger AO, The Australian National University.

In 2019 the High Court of Australia endorsed the validity of the Department of Immigration’s termination of a public servant’s employment for her anonymous tweets; and until a settlement was reached late in the year, the Federal Court Circuit was hearing Israel Folau’s challenge to his dismissal by Rugby Australia over controversial social media posts.

Kieran Pender — Senior Legal Advisor with the International Bar Association and ANU College of Law Visiting Fellow — will moderate this important panel discussion on free speech.

Speaking recently on the issue of free speech at work, Mr Pender said ‘the recent cases of Banerji and Folau give rise to complex and often unsettled legal questions, at the intersection of employment law, constitutional law and anti-discrimination law’.

Mr Pender also expressed his view that as the distinction between at-work and off-duty continues to blur in modern workplaces it is unlikely these challenges will fade.

The panel discussion will consider where the lines should be drawn, and how it might be possible to reconcile employees’ speech rights with the interests of employers from practical, theoretical, policy and comparative perspectives.