ALHR calls on UN to investigate proposed Tasmanian Anti-Protest laws

August 26, 2014

A coalition of diverse community groups, including ALHR, has written to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights outlining their concerns at the proposed introduction of the Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Bill 2014. The groups have called on three Special Rapporteurs to investigate the incompatibility of the Bill with obligations under international human rights law.

A copy of the letter is attached. The urgent appeal is addressed to Mrs Gabriela Knaul, the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr Maina Kiai, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Mr David Kaye the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression.

According to Adam Gregory, Tasmanian Convenor of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights:


 “The Bill violates international human rights contained in the International Covenants on ‘Civil and Political Rights’ and ‘Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’, both of which Australia has ratified. In particular, the Bill is inconsistent with our right to expression, assembly and association. The permitted restrictions of these rights under the Covenants do not apply to this Bill in its current form.


Furthermore, International Human Rights Law demands all laws be proportionate, reasonable and necessary, which the proposed laws are not. Protesters who do not comply with current laws already face significant fines and jail of up to six months.”


We call on the Government recognise our international law obligations and withdraw this Bill.