The Federal Court of Australia has handed down an important judgment.  For more information see the 'Resources' tab.

The matter concerned the occupation of public gardens close to the centre of the City of Melbourne by Occupy Melbourne and the response by the authorities to those actions. The applicants’ argument was that the enforcement of various provisions by the Council against the protesters was the main reason that the protest had to be called off and the statutory scheme and the enforcement action taken under it were unlawful. They sought declarations that the authorising statutes, the delegated legislation made under them, and the enforcement actions were unlawful, and they sought injunctions restraining the Council from using the provisions against the protesters.

The key findings from North J included:

the relevant provisions are not incompatible with the rights under the Charter

  • the relevant Council provisions were valid
  • the arrests were lawful
  • five of the eight compliance notices issues were validly issued and three were not (the three invalid notices were not key aspects of the outcome.  More broadly, the Council’s actions were lawful and proportionate).   
Date: 
Tuesday, October 1, 2013