The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill was discussed at the Public Bill Committee on September 9th. Smita Jamdar, partner and head of education at Shakespeare Martineau, appeared before the public bill committee providing evidence to the panel. Smita has been advising universities for more than 25 years, acting for more than 50 institutions across the UK.
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Commenting on the bill, Smita said: “Over the years I have advised on a number of cases relating to free speech and in every case without fail the university has wanted to support the right to lawful free speech. There has either been a) a concern that the speech in question was not lawful; and/or b) a complaint by staff or students that the university had a duty to consider and then act accordingly. The characterisation of universities one sees as not being interested in promoting free speech or giving in too readily to attempts to supress lawful free speech is not one I recognise from my experience. But there are undoubtedly competing interests to balance and difficult judgments to make. I don’t see anything in the bill that will change that position for universities."
You can watch the full recorded panel with Smita's session starting at 14.45 here: - Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill.
You can also visit Shakespeare Martineau for a full write up of the session here Higher Education Freedom of Speech Bill - (
Shakespeare Martineau are on Lot 4 - One Stop Shop of the Legal Services Framework (PFB5069 LU). If you have any questions or queries about this framework you can contact NWUPC's Professional Services Category Manager Natasha Peacock or call on 0161 234 8003.