Speaker Code of Conduct


This code of conduct exists to ensure that all speakers taking part in a Newcastle University branded, hosted or run event or activity, on one of the UK or overseas campus or elsewhere, act in accordance with the University’s External Speaker Code of Conduct. 


Universities operate in a highly complex environment, it is therefore important that any visiting speakers understand the framework and context that governs speaking at a Newcastle University branded event.

The University has an obligation to protect Freedom of speech whilst also ensuring that any visiting speaker does not break the law or breach the lawful rights of others.  The University has a duty to protect staff, students, members & visitors from hate crimes, harassment, defamation, breach of human rights, unfair treatment, breach of the peace and terrorism whilst they are at a University branded event.

In addition the University must also consider legislation around Health and safety law, public meetings, public processions/assemblies and public order and data-protection which must be considered when allowing an event to go ahead. 


The University expects visiting speakers to act in accordance with the law and not to breach the lawful rights of others.

Set out below are some examples of the University’s expectations. It should be noted that this list is not exhaustive and the University reserves the right to refuse or halt an event at any time if the speaker’s conduct or motives are called into question.

  • Speakers must not incite or spread hatred, intolerance, violence or call for the breaking of the law.
  • Speakers must be careful not to discriminate against, harass or insult any person or group on the basis of their faith, race, nationality, sex, age, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.
  • No speaker should encourage, glorify or promote any acts of terrorism, including any individual, groups or organisations that support such actions.
  • Visitors are not permitted to raise or collect funds for any external organisation or cause without express permission of the University.

When visiting the Universities property or campuses Speakers must also

  • Comply with the University’s Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech.
  • Comply with the University’s policy on External Speakers.
  • Comply with the University’s Dignity & Respect Procedure.
  • Allow and encourage challenge and debate on opinions and ideas put forward.
  • Abide by the University Health & Safety policy.


Dr John Hogan
16 March 2016