What is MALS?
Melbourne Activist Legal Support (MALS) is an independent volunteer group of lawyers, human rights advocates, law students, and para-legals. We provide organisational training for protest movements, informational resources on the rights to protest in Victoria, and Legal Observer Teams that monitor and report on police actions that limit or violate human rights at protest events.
We also train organisers and activist groups in legal support approaches and strategies, and can help coordinate activist movements with supportive law firms and community legal centres.
We stand up for your civil & political rights!
Is MALS involved with organising protests?
No. MALS does not organise nor participate in organising any protest actions. Although we may attend protests to field teams of Legal Observers, we are there as an independent third party.
Legal Observers do not participate in protest actions, nor act as marshals for an event. They will not engage in liaison with police on behalf of other groups or individuals, and cannot discuss or disclose any details or information regarding any other individual, group or action.
Legal Observers observe, record and monitor the actions of police members and private security personnel.
Legal Observer Teams can distribute information on legal rights to members of the public; observe, monitor and record details of interactions between police/security personnel and members of the public; take photos and/or video as required; make a detailed written account of any incidents; and, collect evidence for further reports or follow-up after protest events.
We can provide information about your civil and political rights to organise and act.
We have an extensive library of resources and information to get you started, and we also run numerous training events and workshops throughout the year. You can receive announcements of upcoming events by subscribing to our newsletter.
Is MALS funded or supported by any government organisations or entities?
No. We do not receive any money from any other organisations, local or overseas. We do not receive any funding from any government organisations, nor commercial or corporate entities. MALS is entirely self-funded by volunteers, and generous members of the public—like you!
Make a donation to MALS
All our volunteers are unpaid, and participate in their own personal capacities.
What's with all the pink?
Our Legal Observer teams don high-visibility pink vests when Legal Observing, so they can be easily seen and discerned.
Can you help me with some question I have about the cops?
We’ll do our best to help you.
If you’re looking for information about your civil and political rights, you can find lots of helpful information in our Resources archive that could likely answer your question.
If you’re looking for potential legal help in regards to a police action or an arrest, you can refer to our list of supportive legal firms that may be able to help you with questions about legal representation or civil action.
I want to help, but don't know what to do. What can I do?
MALS is always looking for help and support, and there are many ways you can contribute to our work, knowing you are helping to provide critical support to those standing up for social and environmental justice.
We are an independent volunteer group, so we exist solely on people kindly donating their time, skills, energy, and finances.
If you’d like to get involved with MALS, but don’t know quite how to frame it just yet, you could see our How can I get involved? page for some ideas!