Unlawful assembly

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At common law, unlawful assembly is when:

  1. three or more people gather together, and
  2. they gather with the common purpose to commit crime by open force or behave in a way that does, or threatens to, breach the peace.

‘Unlawful assembly’ is not defined any Victorian legislation.

‘Unlawful assembly’ is a common law offence – an offence made through judges and courts (as opposed to made through legislation).


Unlawful Assemblies and Processions Act

There is also an old offence, that is rarely used, in section 10 of the Unlawful Assemblies and Processions Act (1958) Vic.

In relation to protests, the Act defines unlawful assembly as any body of people who:

  • meet and parade together or join a procession
  • for the purpose of demonstrating, celebrating or commemorating any political event about any religious or political distinction or differences between people
  • and have with them banners, emblems, flags or symbols that could provoke animosity
  • or are accompanied by any music.


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Unlawful assembly

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