On Friday, 18 March 2016, Dan Rogers appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on behalf of four people charged with the offence of ‘unregulated high risk activity’. These people had been involved in abseiling from the Goodwill Bridge earlier this year. All four plead guilty to the charge and received a community service order with no conviction being recorded.

In a democratic society, the right to protest is as important as the right to vote. Public protests are a way for the general population to express their disagreement with the actions of the executive or the parliament. In most cases, Australian protests are very safe and peaceful. There are, however, a number of laws which attempt to limit protests.

In pleading guilty, the clients acknowledged that they broke the law. However, their actions were motivated by uncovering human rights abuses in Australian immigration detention centres. In an area where government employees are prosecuted for releasing information, the right to protest and incite public debate on this issue is increasingly important.