by Mar 5, 2020News

Kieran Pender, Senior Legal Advisor with the International Bar Association and ANU College of Law Visiting Fellow, will speak at the Free Speech at Work Conference in May.

This post was updated on 17/3/20 following the decision by the Australian National University to cancel public events and social gathering to minimise the risk of the transmission of COVID-19. A panel event and conference had been scheduled for 14 and 15 May.

IPAA is pleased to partner with the ANU College of Law in deliver an event later in 2020 examining ‘Free speech at work: Folau, Banerji and beyond?’.

“The ability of employees to speak freely, both in public and private sector contexts is increasingly being challenged”, says Kieran Pender — Senior Legal Advisor with the International Bar Association and ANU College of Law Visiting Fellow.

Last year 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 recent settlement, the Federal Court Circuit was hearing Israel Folau’s challenge to his dismissal by Rugby Australia over controversial social media posts.

Mr Pender observed that these cases “give rise to complex and often unsettled legal questions, at the intersection of employment law, constitutional law and anti-discrimination law”.

“As the distinction between at-work and off-duty continues to blur in modern workplaces, it is unlikely these challenges will fade,” said Mr Pender.

The event 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.

Once details for the event have been confirmed they will be announced by the ANU and IPAA.