your right to protest, demonstrate and to hold rallies
The right to peaceful assembly is a fundamental civil right.
It is recognised in many international human rights treaties
and in Australian law. The right to protest about political
issues is protected by the Constitution.
Right of Peaceful Assembly, written by R.M. Hope QC in the
Read about police
search powers and political protest.
recent case about the right to peaceful assembly to protest
against a Minister of the Crown.
Do you want to organise a protest?
You do not have to tell police that you are organising a rally,
but CCL recommends that you do. Your protest will be a more
pleasant experience for everyone concerned (you & your colleagues,
police and the general public) if you work cooperatively with
police from the beginning.
All you have to do is inform police that your protest is on,
when and where and how many people you expect. There is a form
called a '
1' that you can fill out and hand in to the police station
nearest to where you want to hold your protest. If possible,
the form should be handed in at least 7 working days before
the protest. Police will use the form to organise resources
to control traffic etc.
If you do not hand in a Form 1 to police, you may not be able
to obstruct traffic or pedestrians during your protest. And
if anyone gets hurt, you might be liable for the injury.
The good news is that the police cannot refuse your Form 1
(unless there is special legislation covering the public area
in which you wish to protest). If police want to stop your rally,
they must take you to the Supreme Court to get an order of the
If you find that police are unlawfully trying to prohibit your
march or rally, then make a
complaint to CCL and we will try to help you uphold your
right to peaceful assembly.