SMH: ‘Chilling effect’: Supreme Court overturns NSW’s tough anti-protest laws

The NSW Supreme Court has struck down part of a suite of tough anti-protest laws rushed through state parliament last year, ruling that criminalising activities that cause partial closures or redirections around ports and train stations was constitutionally invalid.

Climate change protesters Dominique Jacobs and Helen Kvelde, represented by the Environmental Defenders Office, launched a constitutional challenge last year to the new laws, which imposed a maximum penalty of a $22,000 fine, imprisonment for two years, or both.

Lydia Shelly said: "It was a significant but partial win for political communication."

“Anti-protest laws are still in place and we call upon the attorney-general to repeal these laws that strike at the heart of our democracy,” she said.

“We will continue to support protesters and defend the right to protest. Protests should be visible and should not be relegated to the backstreets.

“Protests and their role in maintaining and defending democracy are not diminished if they are inconvenient or disruptive.”

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