NT Government Adopts ‘Mob Rule’

19 November 2022

The acknowledgement by the NT Government that human rights will only be protected if they coincide with ‘community views’ represents a fundamental break down in the rule of law inconsistent with international human rights protections.[1]

‘Australians consistently support religious freedom, where is the evidence for claims by the NT Government that ‘community views’ amongst Territorians oppose these fundamental rights?’ asked Mark Spencer, Director of Public Policy for Christian Schools Australia.

‘Not only are the NT Government abandoning people of faith on the basis of claimed ‘community views’, he said, ‘but those claimed views simply don’t reflect the consistent evidence of our polling’.

The right of parents to ‘ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions’ is a fundamental right protected by international laws to which Australia is a party and must uphold.[2]

‘National polling has consistently upheld support for the right of religious schools to employ staff who share their beliefs’, said Mr Spencer, ‘with over 75% of Australians recognising its importance and indicating support’.[3]

‘If the Government is hiding behind so called ‘community views’ to remove fundamental religious freedoms and parental rights, then no minority group in the Northern Territory is safe’.

‘The NT Government is adopting a ‘mob rule’ approach where the claimed majority view is justification for ignoring the basic common law rights and freedoms of individuals, the cornerstone of our pluralist, multi-cultural society’, he said

‘If the NT Government proceed with these changes the Albanese Government must ensure that proposed Commonwealth protections are not undermined,’ Mr Spencer said, ‘Commonwealth legislation must include clear provisions overriding State and Territory laws that simply ignore our international obligations and fundamental rights’.


[1] NT News, Major changes coming to NT anti-discrimination laws

[2] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 18(4), ratified by Australia in 1980

[3] National Poll on Attitudes to Christian Schools, October 2022

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Mark Spencer

Director of Public Policy

Christian Schools Australia

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Christian Schools Australia (CSA) is the largest association of Christian schools in the country and has member schools educating around 75,000 students and employing more than 11,000 staff at more than 180 locations across Australia. CSA member schools provide high quality education within an authentic Christian learning community.