High Court of Australia

Brown v Tasmania [2017] HCA 43

18 Oct 2017

Case Number: H3/2016


Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Keane, Nettle, Gordon, Edelman JJ


Constitutional law (Cth) – Implied freedom of political communication – Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 (Tas) – Where Act empowers police officers to direct protesters to leave and stay away from business premises and business access areas under pain of arrest and criminal penalties – Where business premises include forestry land – Where Act allows police officers to give such directions if they reasonably believe protester is preventing, hindering or obstructing business activity, has done so, or is about to do so – Where Forestry Tasmania authorised to undertake forest operations in Lapoinya Forest – Where plaintiffs protested in vicinity of forest operations – Where plaintiffs directed to leave and stay away from forestry land – Where plaintiffs arrested and charged, purportedly under Act, as result of protest activity – Whether Act restricts otherwise lawful protest activity – Whether implied freedom burdened – Whether Act, or provisions thereof, impose impermissible burden on implied freedom in their operation in respect of forestry land and related business access areas – Whether provisions suitable, necessary and adequate in balance.

Constitutional law (Cth) – Where plaintiffs charged under Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 (Tas) – Where charges not pursued – Where plaintiffs intend to engage in conduct unless conduct validly proscribed by Act – Whether plaintiffs have standing to challenge validity of Act.

Words and phrases – "burden", "business access area", "discriminatory effect", "implied freedom of political communication", "proportionality testing", "protest activity", "protester", "reasonably appropriate and adapted".

Forest Management Act 2013 (Tas) – ss 8, 9, 13, 21, 22, 23.

Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 (Tas) – ss 6, 8, 11, 13 and Pt 4.

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