Freedom of thought and belief

The human right of freedom of thought and belief is fundamental and unqualified. It includes freedom of conscience, religion and belief and the free exercise of religion or belief. Though we take these freedoms for granted in Australia today they were only won over centuries of struggle and are still not enjoyed in many parts of the world. Even in Australia vestiges of the struggle to secure this freedom can be seen in the continuing prohibition on Catholics from being our head of state. Latter day threats to the freedom can be found too in anti-terror legislation and calls for the banning of headscarves. Liberty Victoria is committed to resisting these threats and to a strict and unqualified adherence to this freedom. Freedom of thought and belief is recognised in Articles 18 and 19 of the ICCPR. Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief is recognised in section 14 of the Victorian Charter. Freedom of thought and belief is associated with freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom from discrimination.