The Perth Declaration For The Defence Of Christianity In Australia

THE PERTH DECLARATION

FOR THE DEFENCE OF CHRISTIANITY IN AUSTRALIA

On 14-15 June 2019, at Sheridan College in Perth, Western Australia, we the undersigned either presented or introduced presenters at the
conference ‘Religious Freedom at the Crossroads: The Rise of Anti-Christian Sentiment in the West’.

We gathered over a common concern about various forms of attacks on religious freedoms generally, and Christianity in particular. We noted the deteriorating circumstances of Christians both internationally and in Australia. Internationally, Christians face increasing violence and persecution. In Australia, there is growing anti-Christian sentiment, which is evident in certain parts of the public and private sectors. 

Increasingly, Australian Christians avoid speaking publicly about matters involving their faith because they fear any or all of the following:

– Internet outrage campaigns

– Social media censorship.

– Complaints to public authorities under anti-discrimination laws.

– Being subject to disciplinary proceedings and/or dismissal by their employers.

We believe that Australians must now ensure that their fundamental freedoms are maintained. Critical among these freedoms are those of thought, belief, religion, conscience, expression, and association. These freedoms are vital to a truly free and democratic society.

We support the freedom of Christians to peacefully organise and to speak according to their faith.

We support the freedom of Christians to peacefully challenge any and all ideas or actions, be those ideas or actions religious or secular.

We support the freedom of others to peacefully challenge the ideas or actions of Christians, and we welcome those challenges.

We support the idea that peaceful challenges to ideas or actions include intense and searching criticism.

We reject the idea – one increasingly fashionable but always wrong – that such peaceful challenges to ideas or actions constitute ‘hate speech’ or violence.

In light of the foregoing, we support the following measures:

– Laws that protect the fundamental freedoms of thought, belief, religion, conscience, expression, and association.

– Reform of anti-discrimination laws to better protect these fundamental freedoms.

– Legal challenges against laws and other government action that unduly interfere with these fundamental freedoms.

– Legal challenges against actions taken by those in the private sector who unduly interfere with these fundamental freedoms.

We call upon State, Territory and Commonwealth governments to undertake law reform. We also call upon every concerned Australian to support
such reforms, as well as support legal challenges to defend fundamental freedoms. Pursuing these measures will defend the fundamental freedoms not only of every Australian Christian but of every Australian.

Perth/WA, 6th August 2019

 

AUGUSTO ZIMMERMANN

Professor and Head of Law, Sheridan College

President, Western Australian Legal Theory Association

WILLIAM WAGNER

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Cooley Law School

President & CEO, Salt & Light Global

MARTYN ILES

Managing Director, Australian Christian Lobby

JOHN STEENHOF

Managing Director, Human Rights Law Alliance

THE HON. JOHN GILMOUR QC

Barrister, Quayside Chambers

Judge of the Federal Court of Australia (2016-2018)

DARREN SOUTH

Founder and CEO, The Southern Justice International

ASHLEY SAUNDERS

CEO, Barnabas Fund Australia

JOSHUA FORRESTER

Editor, The Western Australian Jurist

CHRISTOPHER BROHIER

Barrister,
Elizabeth Mews Chambers

Founder, Wilberforce Foundation

JOHNNY SAKR

PhD Researcher, The University of Southern Queensland

TIM HOUWELING

Director, Cornerstone Legal

STEVE HEATHCOTE

Steve Heathcote Barrister & Solicitor

ROBERT BALZOLA

Partner, Robert Balzola & Associates

ROCCO LOIACONO

Senior Law Lecturer, Curtin University

ASHA TOWERS

Former NSW President, NCC (2017-2019)

PATRICK BYRNE

President, National Civil Council

ANDREA TOKAJI

Lecturer, Alphacrucis College

Lecturer, Excelsia College

HEATH HARLEY-BELLEMORE

Solicitor and Vice-President, Western Australian Legal Theory Association

PETER ABETZ

WA Director, Australian Christian Lobby

Former Member of the WA Legislative Assembly (2008 to 2017)

THE HON. CHARLES SMITH MLC

Member for the East Metropolitan Region in the WA Legislative Council

THE HON. MICHAEL SUTHERLAND

Former Speaker of the WA Legislative Assembly

(2008 to 2017)

THE HON. AARON STONEHOUSE MLC

Leader of the Liberal Democrats WA;

Member for South Metropolitan Region

THE HON. NICK GOIRAN MLC

Shadow WA Minister for Child Protection; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence

 

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Dr Augusto Zimmermann LLB (Hon.), LLM cum laude, PhD (Mon.)
Professor and Head of Law, Sheridan College, Perth/WA
Professor of Law (adjunct), The University of Notre Dame Australia School of Law, Sydney
President, Western Australian Legal Theory Association (WALTA)
Editor-in-Chief, The Western Australian Jurist
Commissioner, Law Reform Commission of Western Australia (2012-2017)

SHERIDAN COLLEGE
Unit 18, 7 Aberdeen Street, Perth WA 6000
Phone:
+61 457 241 748

The Perth Declaration for the Defence of Christianity in Australia – Final.pdf
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Date-stamped: Perth/WA, 6th August 2019 | Article Title: The Perth Declaration for the Defence of Christianity in Australia  | Article Link: walta.net.au

 

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