2018 Integrity Roundtables

Wed 24 Oct, Queensland Conservatorium, South Bank

The Integrity Roundtables bring together international speakers, local experts and an engaged audience to discuss some of the key ethics and integrity issues across the Integrity 20’18 conference agenda in a less structured atmosphere. This year the number of roundtable attendees is being reduced so that all can take a greater part in the exchanges.

We invite people working in relevant areas of business, academia, government and other areas to apply to attend and participate in the 2018 Integrity Roundtables.

8.30am – Tea and coffee upon arrival

9.00am – Roundtable 1

Integrity, leadership and power in the workplace

In most workplaces, some have more power than others. That power can be abused – through sexual harassment, bullying, economic exploitation of casual workers – or profiteering from inside knowledge or conflicts of interest.

  • Are the power differentials in modern workplaces increasing or decreasing?
  • Are the abuses increasing or decreasing – and in which areas?
  • What is being done and what should be done to prevent, limit and respond to abuse?
  • Is leadership the answer – or part of the answer?
  • Or should we look to countervailing power – of unions, regulators, NGOs and watchdogs?
  • Is Parliament a special case? Should it be leading or following other workplaces? Or is it so different that normal rules do not apply? Who should investigate and sanction abuses in the form of sexual harassment, bullying, and conflicts of interest?

11.45am – Light lunch

12.15am – Roundtable 2

Integrity and trust in international agreements: Shifting global powers, strategic challenges without and within

To what extent can we trust other nations to stick to the agreements we have with them – either in bilateral treaties, multilateral agreements or the ‘rules’ of the ‘international rules-based order’.
Can we trust our competitors, foes – or those who say they will act on ‘national interest’ or take a ‘transactional’ approach?
Does national self-interest trump those agreements? If so, does this mean that all international treaties are entered in bad faith?
Or is it in the national interest to stick to our agreements and seek to (re)build support for the ‘international rules-based order’?
How are these issues affected by the strategic challenges we face?

  • Those who want to join the nuclear club (North Korea and Iran)
  • The economic rise of China
  • South China Sea bases
  • Must we choose, and can we choose, between US and China

Motes and Beams: can we insist that China and Russia obey international rules while denying our own breaches.

2.45pm – Afternoon tea

3.15pm – Roundtable 3

Lies, damned lies and free speech in an age of fake news

We have long valued free speech both as a human right and to enable citizens to make informed voting choices.
Media, watchdogs and academics have long claimed to ‘talk truth to power’.
Are some trying to talk ‘power to truth’?
Should we be concerned if lies and fake news seek to stimulate misinformed voting choices?

This raises some important questions
Whose freedom is it?
An individual? A corporation? A professional journalist? A media outlet purporting to provide news (‘the Press’)?
A media outlet providing entertainment?
Is money speech?

What are its limits?

  • Incitement to violence
  • Bullying and Incitement to bully
  • Defamation
  • Confidential settlements – when can this limit the freedom of speech of those who would report bad conduct by business or politicians.
  • Does it give the other party a ‘license to lie’?

What are the negative consequences of lying? Can or should they be extended?

  • For politicians, ministerial codes of conduct make misleading parliament (and sometimes the people) a hanging offence for which virtually nobody swings. Who is to decide – does parliament and PM have conflict of interest.
  • Business faces sanctions for misleading and deceptive conduct and inaccurate or delayed reports to market.

Can we rely on Mill’s view that truth will prosper when constantly confronted with its opposite
OR Electoral cycles

What should be done

  • More fact checking?
  • More authoritative fact checking?
  • Professionalisation of journalism?

Roundtable Host

Professor Charles Sampford (AU)
Convenor, Integrity Roundtables
Foundation Dean of Law and Research Professor of Ethics
Director, IEGL, The Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law
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