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Parliamentary briefing: Freedom of speech on campus

Freedom of speech briefing front coverThis briefing covers some of the legal and other considerations for universities on the matter of freedom of speech on university campuses. It was produced in advance of a debate in the House of Lords on 26 November 2015.

Universities are mindful of the particular role they play in society, as places of debate, discussion and the exchange of views – including of controversial and sometimes extreme views. 

Universities UK remains concerned at some aspects of the government’s guidance relating to the 'Prevent duty' in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, which go beyond existing legal requirements and potentially restrict freedom of speech. 

Universities UK opposes academic boycotts and no-platform policies, and universities are legally required to take action to prevent an invited speaker from being denied access to university premises.

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