Statement Regarding Freedom of Speech

11 April 2023

The Council of the University of Adelaide has reiterated its condemnation of antisemitism as well as all other forms of discrimination based on religion, race, colour, and descent or national or ethnic origin. 

It has, however, after consulting with its Academic Board, determined not to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. 

The University has issued the following statement regarding freedom of speech:

As an institution of higher learning, the University of Adelaide celebrates and is enriched by cultural diversity among our students and staff.  

We proudly encourage critical thinking and respectful debate. Freedom of speech is a right everyone holds, subject to the law. The right to express lawful views about controversial matters is at the heart of a robust democracy. It is also the essence of academic freedom. 

The University of Adelaide is committed to the principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech. Like most Australian public universities, we have adopted the Model Code recommended by the Hon Robert French AC in his 2019 Review of Freedom of Speech in Australian Higher Education Providers. 

All members of the University Community have a fundamental right to feel safe from discrimination and persecution, and to feel welcome and respected on our campuses. Importantly, the University’s values include respect.

The University’s Behaviour and Conduct Policy (Principle 4) states that “The University will not tolerate or condone any form of unlawful unfair treatment including harassment, bullying, vilification, racial vilification and racist behaviour, sexual harassment and sexual assault, discrimination, victimisation, intimidating behaviour or violence”.

This Principle encompasses vilification that can arise from bigotry, which is a prejudice against a person or people based on their membership of a particular group, including their sexuality, identity, health status, ethnicity, religion, culture, or race. 

One form of bigotry is antisemitism which may reflect a hatred of Jewish people, or Jewish institutions, by reason of their being Jewish, or may involve the making of adverse judgments about Jewish people or institutions based on prejudicial stereotypes. 

Such behaviour is reprehensible wherever it occurs, and we condemn it. It is not reflective of our wider University Community.

We remain committed to treating all in a fair and non-discriminatory manner. The University will not tolerate behaviour or conduct that is unlawful or affects the University’s fulfilment of its duty to foster the wellbeing of staff and students. 

Reports of misconduct or inappropriate behaviour are encouraged via the University’s Integrity Unit, which can be contacted via phone (8313 0609) or email (, or an online report can be made through the Safer Campus Community website.