Activist Rights

Australia’s Constitution

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Our right to protest is protected in the constitution by the implied right to political communication.

It is not an explicit right stated in the words of the constitution.

Instead, the High Court found that it is implied by the language, structure, and explicit rights stated in the Constitution.

In other words, the Court found that a free and democratic society cannot exist where the people did not have the right to publicly voice their political opinions. The Constitution, by creating a free and democratic society, thus implies a right to political communication.[1]

It is important to note that this right only extends to political communications. But it is hard to think of an issue that isn’t political in some way.

Because this right is in the Constitution, it applies to all parts of Australia not just Victoria.

In Victoria we have other state rights to protest protected in the Charter.

[1] Nationwide News Pty Ltd v Wills (1992) 177 CLR 1; Australian Capital Television v The Commonwealth (1992) CLR 1.

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