Anti-protest laws tabled in Tasmanian parliament yesterday are deeply authoritarian and are an attack on democracy, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).
“The functional impact of the Bill remains the same as the legislation that was declared invalid by the High Court in 2017,” said Mr Fabiano Cangelosi, barrister and Tasmanian State President, ALA.
“The legislation is too broadly cast, too limited in its consideration of civil and political rights and too harsh in its penalties.
“A democracy relies on people getting involved, speaking up and engaging in robust debate. This helps to hold our governments and businesses to account. Unfortunately, this legislation is likely to scare people away from expressing their views and protesting at all.
“The Bill makes no attempt to recognise or protect the rights and freedoms of individuals to express themselves, associate and exchange ideas, to criticise, and indeed to protest against businesses in a democratic society.
“We already have sufficient laws in place to protect businesses and other organisations and we do not need more authoritarian legislation designed to restrict the freedom of individuals.
“The legislation is not needed and the Bill should be withdrawn.”