Australian Council for Civil Liberties

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The Victorian Council for Civil Liberties (also referred to as Liberty Victoria) is a civil liberties group based in Victoria, Australia. Established in 1936, it was previously named the Australian Council for Civil Liberties. The position of President is often held by retired Federal Court Judges and lawyers, including Julian Burnside, Chris Maxwell and Ron Merkel.[1]

Voltaire Award[edit]

Liberty Victoria annually awards it's Voltaire Award for free speech.[2][3] Although regarded by some as prestigious,[4] the choice of recipients has attracted criticism[5] and been referred to as "perverse"[6] and "ridiculous".[7]

Voltaire Award Recipients[edit]

  • 2019: Debbie Kilroy
  • 2018: Yassmin Abdel-Magied
  • 2017: Gillian Triggs
  • 2016: Waleed Aly
  • 2015: The ‘three brothers’ – Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy
  • 2014: Yu Shu Lipski
  • 2013: Arnold Zable
  • 2012: David Marr

Notable activities[edit]

In 2021 Liberty Victoria opposed border closures in Australia in response to COVID-19.[8][9] It also objected to Facebook's ban of certain philanthropic organisations.[10]


  1. "History | Liberty Victoria". Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  2. "LIBERTY VICTORIA VOLTAIRE HUMAN RIGHTS AWARDS 2019 - CALL FOR NOMINATIONS BY 3 MARCH 2019 | Liberty Victoria". Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  3. "Voltaire Award Dinner 2019 | Liberty Victoria". Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  4. "Yassmin Abdel-Magied wins free speech award". Northern Star. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  5. "Neil Mitchell critical of decision to hand 'free speech' gong to former ABC presenter". 3AW. 2018-03-20. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  6. "What part of free speech doesn't Liberty Victoria understand?". The Spectator Australia. 2017-05-04. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  7. "Daniel Andrews trumps Gillian Triggs with ridiculous award nomination". 18 February 2021. Retrieved 2021-03-11. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. "Liberty Victoria hits out at 'draconian' border closure leaving Victorians shunned". 3AW. 2021-01-06. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  9. Ward, Tammy Mills, Michael Fowler, Mary (2021-01-12). "Call for more clarity on border closure triggers". The Age. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  10. Clun, Liam Mannix, Rachel (2021-02-18). "'Deeply unethical': Royal Children's Hospital, Neighbourhood Watch Victoria hit by Facebook ban". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2021-03-11.

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