(You upload this to the event planner - for events with external speakers, the event planner MUST be submitted at least 4 weeks before the event. If you miss this deadline, it is highly likely your external speaker request will be denied.).
(You upload this to the event planner - For events with external speakers, the event planner MUST be submitted at least 4 weeks before the event. If you miss this deadline, it is highly likely your external speaker request will be denied.).
The Government instructs universities and their SUs to take steps to prevent illegal speech and enable all other speech.
The SU must refer potentially controversial speakers to the University for their decision. In cases where the University is the decision maker, we can make a recommendation, but don’t have the power to say no. In cases where we are the decision maker, speech can only be limited if it would break criminal law. Most problematic speech does not break criminal law and cannot be limited even if we disagree with it. This is because the law protects freedom of expression up to the point where that expression breaks another law. Some of the criminal offences that may occur in relation to speech include causing fear or provocation of violence, stirring up hatred, causing a person harassment, alarm or distress. Ultimately the courts decide whether a person has committed these offences. For us to determine that a speaker is likely to break the law, we would expect to see evidence that an appropriate authority deems this to be the case. This is because views expressed in debate or discussion on matters of public interest are unlikely to be seen as harassment under the law, even if they are deeply offensive to some of the people who are listening.
Student groups and leaders can work with the wider organisation to run awareness campaigns, and we use our student group training to push student groups to be more inclusive and considerate. Elected representatives may speak out against events that they are unhappy with.
If you want to talk about the external speaker process in relation to your student group, or event you are planning, then please get in touch with the relevant support staff in your area (e.g. Societies team, Sports team, etc).