At 10:15am Wednesday 18 October the High Court of Australia will hand down its decision in a landmark case which argued that Tasmania’s excessive anti-protest laws violate the implied freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution.
The case centres around the arrest of Dr Bob Brown on a public road while he was trying to film a video about a controversial logging project in Tasmania’s native Lapoinya forest. A second plaintiff, Ms Jessica Hoyt, was separately arrested in the Lapoinya Forest in similar circumstances.
The Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre, Hugh de Kretser, said the decision would be important for Australia’s democracy.
“Free political communication and expression and the right to protest are absolutely essential for a healthy, vibrant democracy. Tasmania’s laws go too far in shutting down important debate and criminalising peaceful protests. These laws need to be scrapped or significantly wound back,” said Mr de Kretser
The Human Rights Law Centre was granted permission from the High Court to provide its expertise on human rights law and filed submissions that support the challenge to the validity of the Tasmanian laws.
For further comment once the decision has been handed down, please contact Hugh de Kretser on 0403 965 340.
The Bob Brown Foundation will hold a press conference with Jessica Hoyt at 12 noon Wednesday 18 October at Level 4, 116 Bathurst St, Hobart. Contact Jenny Weber on 0427 366 929 for further information.