News & Views

Australia’s civic freedoms remain ‘narrowed’ – CIVICUS Global Report

The latest CIVICUS Monitor global report, which analyses the extent to which civil society rights are respected, upheld, and protected, has found civic space in Australia remains ‘narrowed’.

“Civic space is the bedrock of any open and democratic society. When civic space is open, citizens and civil society organisations are able to organise, participate and communicate without hindrance. In doing so, they are able to claim their rights and influence the political and social structures around them. This can only happen when a state holds by its duty to protect its citizens and respects and facilitates their fundamental rights to associate, assemble peacefully and freely express views and opinions. ” CIVICUS

CIVICUS highlighted numerous concerns in its report on Australia including:
• the continued prosecution of whistleblowers
• the passage of anti-protest laws which are at odds with Australia’s international obligations
• the arrest of climate protesters
• excessive use of force by police against protesters
• police providing false information to the courts
• journalists from foreign-owned media outlets facing jail under foreign interference laws
• surveillance laws that endanger press freedom
• federal court restrictions on reporting

Read the full report online here.

Melbourne Activist Legal Support (MALS)

is an independent volunteer group of lawyers, human rights advocates, law students and para-legals. MALS trains and fields Legal Observer Teams at protest events, provides training and advice to activist groups on legal support structures, and develops and distributes legal resources for social movements. MALS works in conjunction with law firms, community legal centres, and a range of local, national, and international human rights agencies. We stand up for civil and political rights.

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