Australian Federal Judge Weighs in Favor of Free Speech with This Move

May 13th, 2024 11:01 AM

An Australian federal judge has swooped in to defend free speech by siding with Elon Musk in the tech billionaire’s latest spat with Australia’s Ministry of Truth.

On May 13, Federal Court Justice Geoffrey Kennett blocked the application for the extension of an injunction issued by Australia’s e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant. The injunction ordered X to censor a video depicting an Australian Bishop being stabbed while delivering Mass in Sydney. 

It is expected that the Justice will issue an explanatory statement later in the day, reported SkyNews Australia.

Musk responded to news of the ruling by re-expressing his continued commitment to the cause of free speech globally.

“Not trying to win anything,” Musk posted on X. “I just don’t think we should be suppressing Australia’s rights to free speech.”

Grant issued the injunction on April 16 ordering X to suppress the video even for users outside of the United States. She also threatened the company with a daily fine of $785,000 AUD if it didn’t comply with the order. 

X’s Global Government Affairs Team challenged Grant’s authority, citing her lack of jurisdiction over non-Australian users.

X’s lawyers also argued before the Justice that the video in question was not overly graphic and, contrary to the Australian Government’s characterization, did not glorify violence or terrorism.

Related: WATCH: Bishop’s Powerful Response to Censorship Demands of Stabbing Video

On April 28, Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, the victim of the vicious stabbing, made a public statement in favor of free speech as a cornerstone of Western civilization and a fundamental natural right. 

Musk has faced a lot of pushback and even legal threats for his bold stance in favor of free speech. Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie called for Elon Musk’s arrest. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese singled out X as being so-called uncooperative with the Australian government’s censorship initiatives and claimed that Musk was going against the will of Australians. 
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