Religious Freedom Review

Expert Panel examined the religious freedom protection in Australia Terms of Reference (ToR).

In 2017, the then Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull, announced the appointment of an Expert Panel to examine whether Australian law adequately protected the human right to freedom of religion. The Terms of Reference for the Review were provided in December 2017. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull instructed the Panel to:

  • consider the intersections between the enjoyment of the freedom of religion and other human rights.
  • have regard to any previous or ongoing reviews or inquiries that it considers relevant.
  • consult as widely as it considers necessary.

In May 2018, the Panel delivered its Report to the Prime Minister and made a Statement.

The Panel’s Report and the Government’s response are available on the Attorney-General's website:


The Panel received more than 15,500 submissions on the matters contained in its Terms of Reference.

Expert Panel

The Expert Panel comprised:

  • the Hon Philip Ruddock (chair)
  • Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM
  • the Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett AO SC
  • Father Frank Brennan SJ AO
  • Professor Dr Nicholas Aroney

The Panel was supported by a Secretariat within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Read more at Religious Discrimination.

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Religious Freedom Review

Religious Freedom Review Terms of Reference