News: Tasmanian anti-environment protest laws back before Parliament

Tasmania’s upper house of Parliament will soon debate proposed laws that create new offences for conducting protests in a manner that disrupt business activities, including conducting protests on business premises or that impede access to the location for business activities.

The Workplaces (Protection from Protestors) Bill 2014 passed the Tasmanian lower house in late June 2014. On 19 August 2014 it was read for the first time in the Tasmanian Legislative Council. The Bill continues to generate protest and opposition from within parliament and beyond. The proposed bill creates new definitions of protest and business that, should the bill pass, will be much analysed by judges. However, as Melbourne Law School’s Professor Adrienne Stone has noted, the law may ultimately be subject to a constitutional challenge on the ground that it is inconsistent with the implied constitutional freedom of political communication. The limitation on protestors might be unreasonable or disproportionate to the desired purpose of the law – to protect businesses from disruption. Should a challenge to the law be brought before the High Court, it will add to the opportunities presented to the court last year in the cases of Monis and Corneloup and already this year in the Unions NSW case to develop jurisprudence on the implied freedom.

 

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About Brad Jessup

Brad Jessup joined Melbourne Law School in 2012 from the ANU, where he had been teaching and researching since 2007. From 2001 to 2006 Brad worked in commercial legal practice. Brad’s principal research area is environmental and planning law, particularly the exploration of environmental legal conflict and the regulation of places, landscapes and protected areas.

1 thought on “News: Tasmanian anti-environment protest laws back before Parliament

  1. If being locked up prevents you from going to work would not the police/gov’t be perpetuating the “problem”….

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