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Regulations and Ordinances - Senate Standing Committee - Reports - 72nd-A.C.T. Public Assemblies Ordinance 1982


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The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND ORDINANCES

Seventy-second Report

A.C.T. Public Assemblies Ordinance 1982

April 1982

Presented and ordered to be printed 21 April 1982

Parliamentary Paper No. 83/1982

Parliamentary Paper No. 83/1982

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND ORDINANCES

S e v e n t y - s e c o n d R e p o r t

A .C .T . P u b l i c A s s e m b lie s O r d in a n c e

1982

A p r i l 1982

The Commonwealth Government Printer Canberra 1982

© Commonwealth of Australia 1982

ISBN 0 644 01862 3

Printed by Authority by the Commonwealth Government Printer

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND ORDINANCES

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE

Senator A.W.R. Lewis (Chairman)

Senator M.C. Tate (Deputy Chairman)

Senator N.T. Bonner Senator J . Coates

Senator D.J. Foreman Senator A.J. Missen

Senator M.S. Walters

PRINCIPLES OF THE COMMITTEE

(Adopted 1932; Amended 1979)

The Committee scrutinises delegated legislation to ensure:

(a) that it is in accordance with the statute;

(b) that it does not trespass unduly on personal

rights and liberties;

(c) that it does not unduly make the rights and liberties of citizens dependent upon

administrative decisions which are not subject to review of their merits by a judicial or

other independent tribunal; and

(d) that it does not contain matter more

appropriate for Parliamentary enactment.

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND ORDINANCES

SEVENTY-SECOND REPORT

1. The Committee has the honour to present its Seventy-second

Report to the Senate. The purpose of this Report is to advise

the Senate of the Committee's consideration of the Public

Assemblies Ordinance, contained in A.C.T. Ordinance No. 10

of 1982 and made under the Seat of Government (Administra­

tion) Act 1910.

BACKGROUND

2. Honourable Senators may recall that, on 14 May 1981, the

Committee made a statement to the Senate indicating:

(a) that it had received certain undertakings from

the Minister for the Capital Territory in relation

to the Traffic (Amendment) Ordinance 1981;

(b) that advice had been sought concerning the consequences

for accused persons of the disallowance of an Ordinance

in force at the time prosecutions are lodged; and

(c) that the Committee had consulted with both the A.C.T.

House of Assembly and the Joint Committee on the

Australian Capital Territory on whether the matters

contained in the Traffic (Amendment) Ordinance 1981

should more appropriately be contained in legislation

made by the Parliament, rather than in delegated

legislation.

3. The Committee now discusses each of these in detail.

(a ) Undertakings by Minister

4. Following its examination of the Traffic (Amendment)

Ordinance, and extensive correspondence with the Minister,

the Committee received from the Minister the following

undertakings:

(i) that it was the Minister's intention to give

instructions for the preparation of a general

Ordinance, in effect setting out a Code covering

the law relating to parades, processions

and assemblies, generally, in the Australian

Capital Territory, to be done as expeditiously

as possible;

(ii) that the proposed Ordinance would be referred

to the A.C.T. House of Assembly;

(iii) that the proposed Ordinance would also be referred

to the Standing Committee on Regulations and

Ordinances; and

(iv) that the general Ordinance would be made prior to Anzac

Day 1982.

In the light of these undertakings and on the clear

understanding that the Traffic (Amendment) Ordinance 1981

would not operate in 1982, the Committee decided to take no

further action in relation to the Ordinance.

(b ) Effect of Disallowance on Prosecutions

The Committee received advice that disallowance would not, in

law, have the effect of halting prosecutions of accused

persons under an Ordinance in force at the time prosecutions

are lodged. The Committee sought confirmation of its

understanding of the law from the Attorney-General. In a

detailed response dated 1 June 1981 (attached as Appendix A

to this Report), the Attorney-General confirmed the advice

previously received.

(c ) Consultations with the Joint Committee on the Australian

Capital Territory and the A.C.T. House of Assembly

The Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory

advised that the Committee did not consider that the

Traffic (Amendment) Ordinance 1981 warranted an Act

of Parliament, but made the point that the Ordinance

should be considered by locally elected representatives.

4 .

7. The House of Assembly, however, suggested as a general

comment that "many ministerial decisions taken under

the authority of Parliament by means of subordinate

legislation are of such substance that Parliament cannot

ignore the consequences of its delegation" and recommended

three steps:

"(1) ... significant matters of policy should be subjects

of parliamentary enactment.

"(2) Such matters should be the subject of scrutiny

by committees of Parliament before they are embodied in

any subordinate legislation.

"(3) All proposed legislation changes should be referred to

the A.C.T. House of Assembly for its advice before they

are made."

8. In this connection, the Committee also took note of

the Report of the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional

and Legal Affairs on the Evidence (Australian Capital

Territory) Bill 1972, which recommended, inter alia, that:

"(d) Legislation which, in Australian States, would

usually be made by Act of a State Parliament, should

normally be made by Ordinance.

5.

"(f) Legislation of a particular territory which is socially

innovative or affects fundamental rights or liberties

... should be made by Ordinance.

"The Committee recommends to the Senate that if the

Committee on Regulations and Ordinances reports that

an Ordinance is of this nature, then such Ordinance

should be made the subject of a substantive debate

in the Senate ...".

One of the purposes of presenting this Report is to

enable debate to take place, in accordance with the

recommendation of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs

Committee, on a motion to take note of the Report.

9. The Committee is at present examining the implications

of this recommendation, and has received advice from

the former Deputy-Chairman, the Honourable J.L. Cavanagh,

and the Committee's Legal Adviser in relation to it.

At present it awaits receipt of the Attorney-General's

views on this matter.

10. For the purpose of ensuring that the Minister's undertaking

to make a general Ordinance in relation to public assemblies

could be carried out, the Committee agreed that, in this

case, legislation in the form of an Ordinance was the most

appropriate way of proceeding.

6 .

PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES ORDINANCE

11. Following the Minister's undertakings, which were accepted

by the Committee, the Committee wrote to the Minister

on 27 August 1981 requesting advice of progress made

in the preparation of the proposed Public Assemblies

Ordinance. In a further letter of 24 September 1981,

the Committee sought an assurance from the Minister

that the proposed Ordinance would be made available

to the Committee before the Parliament rose for the

summer recess. On 14 October 1981, the Minister advised

that "a substantial amount of work" had already been

carried out within his Department on the proposed Ordinance.

He also indicated that he had agreed in principle to the

drafting of an Ordinance which essentially adopted the New

South Wales codification system. During the following week he

made available to the Committee a working paper prepared by

the Department, and on 29 October 1981, officers of the

Department appeared before the Committee to discuss the

elements of the proposed Ordinance, as outlined in the

working paper. The Committee found these discussions most

fruitful, and also sought and received from the officers an

undertaking that a paper would be prepared by the Department

of the Capital Territory, in conjunction with the Attorney-

General 's Department, concerning the status of the

proposed Ordinance, particularly vis-a-vis relevant Common­

wealth enactments, in the light of the Minister's original

undertaking to introduce the Code. (A copy of the advice

7 .

received is at Appendix B). The Committee also indicated its

willingness to meet during recess, to consider the proposed

Ordinance when drafted. However, the draft Ordinance was not

available to the Committee before Parliament resumed on

16 February 1982. The Committee therefore did not have the

opportunity to consider the draft until 18 February 1982.

12. Over the next few weeks the Committee considered five

successive drafts of the proposed Ordinance, each draft

including substantial amendments made following discussions

with the Committee. The third draft was also made available

to the A.C.T. House of Assembly, together with drafting

instructions, sent by the Department of the Capital

Territory to the Attorney-General's Department, following

discussions with the Regulations and Ordinances Committee on

25 February 1982.

13. The House of Assembly resolved to establish a Select

Committee on Public Assemblies to examine the draft:

Ordinance. That Committee considered the draft and proposed

amendments, and reported to the House of Assembly on 23 March

1982. A copy of the Report is tabled with this Report. Both

Committees met to discuss the draft Ordinance on 16 March

1982. (A summary of the discussions is attached at

Appendix C .)

14. On 24 March 1982 , a draft was made available to the

Regulations and Ordinances Committee, incorporating

all outstanding amendments on which the Committee had

expressed strong views. The Committee considered the draft at

8 .

its meeting of 25 March. That draft represents the

legislation which was presented to the Governor-General on

25 March and gazetted by the Minister on Friday, 26 March

1982 .

15. The general purpose of the Ordinance is summarised in the

Explanatory Statement accompanying the Ordinance. The

Ordinance and the Explanatory Statement are at Appendix D.

16. It is to be noted that the Traffic (Amendment) Ordinance

1981, which gave rise to the undertakings made by the

Minister, has been separately repealed by the Traffic

(Amendment) Ordinance 1982, contained in A.C.T. Ordinance

No. 12 of 1982 .

CONCLUSION

17. The procedures which have been followed in the consideration

of the draft Public Assemblies Ordinance represent

a unique participation by the Committee in the making

of an Ordinance of notable social significance. In both

its Seventieth and Seventy-first Reports, the Committee

indicated to the Senate that it was still considering

the desirability or otherwise of examining legislation

in draft. This question still remains unresolved. The

Committee's recent experience in relation to this Ordinance

should not be regarded as a precedent for the Committee's

future activities. In this case, the Committee's early

9.

involvement in the consideration of far-reaching proposed

legislation derived from a specific undertaking given by a

Minister, to meet a particular set of circumstances.

18. The Committee has conveyed to the Minister for the

Capital Territory, and his officers, its appreciation

of the co-operation received in the course of these

unusual deliberations.

19. The Committee has determined that the Ordinance does not

offend against the principles under which it operates, and

will take no action in relation to it.

(AUSTIN LEWIS) Chairman

April 1982

APPENDIX A

A T T O R N E Y - G E N E R A L

P A R L I A M E N T H O U S E

C A N B E R R A A C ~ 2 6 00

UUN1981

Dear Senator,

I refer again to your letter of 15 May 1981 concerning the Traffic (Amendment) Ordinance 1981 of the Australian Capital Territory. In that letter you said that your Committee had sought advice on the consequences for accused persons of the disallowance of an Ordinance in force at the

time prosecutions are launched. The advice received by your Committee was that disallowance would not, in law, have the effect of halting such prosecutions. The Committee has

asked for my opinion on this matter.

I would confirm the advice which your Committee has been given. The effect of a motion of disallowance of an Ordinance is dealt with in sub-section 12(6) of the Seat of Government (Administration) Act 1910. That sub-section provides, so far as relevant to the present purpose -

"Where an Ordinance or a part of an Ordinance is disallowed, or is deemed to have been disallowed, under this section, the disallowance has the same effect as a

repeal of the Ordinance or the part of the Ordinance, as the case may be .... ".

The effect of the repeal of an Ordinance is dealt with by sections 37 and 38 of the Interpretation Ordinance 1967 of the Australian Capital Territory. Section 38 is as follows -"38. Where an Ordinance repeals an Ordinance or

part of an Ordinance, then, unless the contrary intention appears, the repeal does not -(a) revive anything not in force or existing at the time at which the repeal

takes effect; (b) affect the previous operation of the Ordinance or the part of the Ordinance so repealed, or anything duly done or

suffered under the Ordinance or the part of the Ordinance so repealed;

. . . 1 2

2

(c) affect a right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred under the Ordinance or the part of the Ordinance so repealed, or an investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of that right, privilege, obligation or liability; or

(d) affect a penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred in respect of an offence committed against the Ordinance or the part of the Ordinance so repealed, or an investigation,

legal proceeding or remedy in respect of that penalty, forfeiture or punishment,

and the investigation, legal proceeding, or remedy may be instituted, continued or enforced, and a penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed, as if the repealing Ordinance had not been made."

Paragraph 38(c) provides that the repeal of an Ordinance does not affect any liability incurred under the Ordinance or any investigation or legal proceeding in respect of that liability. Paragraph 38(d) provides that the repeal of an Ordinance does not affect a penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred in respect of an offence committed against the Ordinance. The effect of these provisions is that, where an offence has been committed under a provision of an Ordinance, the repeal of that Ordinance, or of that provision, does not affect any prosecution for that offence. Consequently, as a matter of law, a prosecution may proceed notwithstanding that the statutory provis ions establishing the offence in respect of which the prosecution is brought have been repealed.

In R. v. Scarlett; ex parte McMillan (1972) 30 F.L.R. 349, Fox J ., in the A.C.T. Supreme Court, held that, notwithstanding the repeal of the relevant provisions of the Motor Traffic Ordinance 1936 after an alleged offence had been

committed, the prosecution might proceed.

Thus, since sub-section 12(6) of the Seat of Government (Administration) Act provides that the disallowance of an Ordinance has the same effect as a repeal of the Ordinance, the disallowance of the Traffic (Amendment) Ordinance 1981 would not-have made any difference in law to the prosecution of those charged with offences under that Ordinance.

Yours sincerely,

Senator A.W.R. Lewis, Chairman, Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances, Parliament House, CANBERRA. A.C.T. 2600

APPENDIX B

ΑΤΤΟΗΓ\ίΕν -GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT

CANBEnSA. A.C.T. 261-7

f l Ease q u o t e e /81/6808

YOU0 REF:

18 March 1982

The Secretary, Department of the Capital Territory, CANBERRA CITY. A.C.T. 2601

Proposed Public Assemblies Orcir.ar.ce

I understand that at their meeting on 29 October 1981 with Mr A .R . Healey and Mr A. Lansiey of your Depqrtment, members of the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances raised the question whether the proposed Ordinance

could co-exist with existing Commonwealth laws. In your memorandum 61/1592 dated 10 November you sought advice on the question whether the proposed Ordinance would co-exist with the Public Order protection of Persons and Property) Act 1971,

(which appears to be the only relevant Commonwealth legislation).

Omitting formal parts, the Advisings Division of this Department has furnished the following advice -"In my view the proposed Ordinance would not be repugnant to the Act.

"Sub-section 25(4) of the Act provides that the Act is not intended to exclude tr.e operation of a law of a Territory, among otners, to the extent that that law is capable of operating concurrently with the express provisions of the Act. It is clear

that, without specific authority, a Territory Ordinance cannot override an Act (Federal Capital Commission v. Laristan Building ar.i Investment Cc ■ Ptv Etc (1929 ) 42 C.L.R. 582 at 588). The

proposed Ordinance does not purport to do this. It provides for a scheme under which approval may be granted for the holding of public assemblies. A person participating in an authorized assembly is not thereby to be guilty of offences against Territory laws of certain kinds - clause 15. That clause does

not purport to exclude the operation of the Act, nor, I understand, is it intended to do so. 1 think that the proposed Ordinance is capable of operating concurrently with the Act as provided in sub-section 25(4)."

You subsequently sought advice or. an article published in the Canberra Times or. 14 March 1982, lr. which the author asserted that the immunity provision lr. the Ordinance would

. . ./2

2.

not prevent a person being prosecuted for an offence against the Public Order Act, in particular the offence of unreasonable obstr uction.

As mentioned above, it is clear that, without specific authority, a Territory Ordinance cannot override an Act. That part of the Canberra Times article is, therefore, correct. The offence of "unreasonable obstruction" as defined in s.3 of the Public Order Act is clearly meant to be cover conduct more aggravated than "mere" obstruction. At the same time,

the proposed Ordinance provides that an authorised public assembly is, shortly, an assembly the holding of which has been authorised either by the Commissioner of Police or the Supreme Court of the A.C.T.. In my view, this factor would be paramount in a court's consideration whether an assembly was "unreasonable".

I am therefore of the view that where an authorised public assembly is held substantiably in accordance with the particulars specified in the notification (as varied by relevant terms and condiditons) participants would not be liable to be prosecuted for causing unreasonable obstruction.

for ‘ Secretary

APPENDIX C

SUMMARY OF DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE

ON REGULATIONS AND ORDINANCES AND A.C.T. HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

SELECT COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES

The Deputy-Chairman (Senator Tate) welcomed the A.C.T. House

of Assembly Select Committee on Public Assemblies - the

Chairman (Mr Marc Robinson) and members (Ms Maureen Border

and Mr Gordon Walsh), accompanied by the Secretary, Mr Paul

Rummery - to an informal meeting. He indicated that, whilst

the Regulations and Ordinances Committee had played a part

in refining the draft proposals, the draft Ordinance was

not the Committee's document. He then invited the Select

Committee to express its concerns to the Committee.

Mr Robinson indicated that the Select Committee had not

resolved its "in-principle" attitude towards limited participation

assemblies. Assuming that the concept is accepted, the Committee's

tentative view was that all potential "special days" should be

treated on the same basis as "days of special significance" , i.e.

that there should be no prescribed/declared days, so that all

groups could have the right to seek a limited participation

assembly. The Deputy-Chairman pointed out that the qualification

on unlimited right of assembly provided by the concept of

limited participation was intended to be minimised by the

"days of special significance" provision, so as to accord

more closely with the International Covenant on Civil and

Political Rights.

Discussion of Clauses

Clause 3: Ms Border pointed out that the specification

of "days of special significance" did not, as drafted,

cover the events they were intended to cover. For example, the Canberra Day March, just held, occurred on Saturday,

rather than on "the third Monday in March in any year

(Canberra Day)".

Clause 8: Mr Robinson suggested that the period of

4 days provided under paragraph (a) gave insufficient

2 .

time for receipt and consideration of applications

to join a limited participation assembly. A period

of 7 days was suggested in lieu.

Clause 9 : Mr Robinson also put to the Committee that

an organiser of a limited participation assembly could

so define the purpose of an assembly under clause 6(c)(viii)

that the Commissioner considering an application to

join a limited participation assembly, and subsequently

the court, could be constrained by the purposes defined

by the organiser. The Committee pointed out, however,

that, under paragraph 9(4)(a), the Commissioner "shall

have regard to - whether the purpose for which the

person or persons for whose participation in the assembly

approval is sought wishes or wish to participate in

the assembly is consistent with the purpose for which

the assembly is to be held". An identity of purpose

was not required.

Mr Robinson also suggested that the words in clauses

9(4)(b)(ii), 12(2)(a)

Commissioner (and the court) shall have regard to any

likelihood that "the safety of any person would be

placed in jeopardy" - might place undue weight on this,

and other considerations mentioned in the sub-clauses,

when the Commissioner (and the court) were making a

decision. The Select Committee agreed with the new

context indicated by the drafting instructions, but

feared that, even under the proposed new provisions,

irrational responses might be given too much weight.

Clause 12: Mr Walsh pointed out that the Commissioner

is not required to consult with any persons before

forming an opinion under sub-section 12(1) that it

would not be in the public interest for an assembly

to be held.

3.

Clause IS: The Select Committee expressed concern

at the potential cost of the proceedings, on the ground

that appeal to a court could disadvantage community

groups. The question whether a provision, similar to

that contained in South Australian legislation, allowing

the court to hear an appeal "without formality" was

also raised.

Mr Robinson indicated the Select Committee's support for

proposed amendments, suggested by the Regulations and Ordinances

Committee, which were incorporated in drafting instructions

by the Department of the Capital Territory and made available

to both Committees by the Department.

Senator Tate indicated that the Regulations and Ordinances

Committee would value any submission by the A.C.T. House of

Assembly on the Ordinance after it has been made, so that

consideration might be given to any matters raised relating to the

Ordinance in the course of the Committee's normal assessment of

such laws by reference to its principles.

APPENDIX D

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

Public Assemblies Ordinance 1982

No. 10 of 1982

I, THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL of the Commonwealth of Australia, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, hereby make the following Ordinance under the Seat o f Government (Administration) Act 1910.

Dated 25 March 1982.

ZEEMAN COWEN Governor-General

By His Excellency’s Command, MICHAEL HODGMAN Minister of State for the Capital Territory

An Ordinance relating to assemblies in public places

Short title 1. This Ordinance may be cited as the Public Assemblies Ordinance 1982.'

Commencement 2. This Ordinance shall come into operation on such date as is fixed by the Minister of State for the Capital Territory by notice in the Gazette.

Objects 3. The objects of this Ordinance are (a) to recognize the right of peaceful assembly in accordance with Article 21 of the Covenant, a copy of the English text of which is set out in the

Schedule; and (b) in conformity with that Article, to ensure, to the greatest extent that is practicable, that persons in the Territory enjoy the freedom to participate in public assemblies subject only to such restrictions as are

necessary in the interests of public order and safety or to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons, and this Ordinance shall be construed accordingly.

10035/82 Cat. No. 82 41 39 0 Recommended retail price 50c

2 Public Assemblies No. 10, 1982

Interpretation 4. In this Ordinance, unless the contrary intention appears— “authorized public assembly” means a public assembly that is, in pursuance of section 8, to be taken to be authorized for the purposes of this

Ordinance; “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Police of the Australian Federal Police; “court" means the Supreme Court; “Covenant" means the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

a copy of the English text of which is set out in Schedule 1 to the Human Rights Commission Act 1981; “day of special significance” means — (a) the Saturday preceding the third Monday in March in any year

(Canberra Day); (b) 25 April in any year (Anzac Day); or (c) a day declared under section 5 to be a day of special significance for the purposes of this Ordinance; “limited participation assembly" means a prescribed public assembly the

notification of which contains particulars indicating that it is proposed that only particular persons, or only persons included in particular classes of persons, participate in the assembly; “notification” means a notification of a proposed public assembly referred

to in section 9; “organizer”, in relation to a public assembly, means the person designated in the relevant notification as the organizer of that assembly; “police officer" means a member of the Australian Federal Police; “prescribed public assembly” means a public assembly held on a day of

special significance, being an assembly the common purpose of the participants in which is significantly related to the reason for which the day is a day of special significance; “public assembly” means an assembly of not less than 3 persons who are

assembled for a common purpose in a public place, whether or not other persons are assembled with them and whether the assembly is at a particular place or moving; “public place" means any street, road, public park within the meaning of

the Public Parks Ordinance 1928, reserve or other place which the public are entitled to use or which is open to, or used by, the public, whether on payment of money or otherwise.

Declaration of day of special significance 5. (1) Where the Minister is of the opinion that a day is a day of national, historic, religious or social significance or solemnity to or for the people of Australia, the community in the Territory or a section of that community, he may, by notice published in the Gazette not later than 21 days before that day,

Public Assemblies No. 10, 1982 3

declare that day to be a day of special significance for the purposes of this Ordinance.

(2) The Minister shall cause a copy of a notice published under sub-section (1) to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the notice was published.

(3) If either House of the Parliament, within 15 sitting days of that House after a copy of a notice has been laid before that House in pursuance of sub-section (2), passes a resolution disapproving the declaration contained in the notice, the declaration shall not have any force or effect on or after the day

on which the resolution was passed.

Legal immunity for participant in authorized public assembly 6. Where an authorized public assembly is held substantially in accordance with the particulars specified in the relevant notification (except insofar as any of those particulars are inconsistent with any of the terms and conditions

referred to in whichever of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) is applicable) and-(a) the terms and conditions, if any, specified in the notice in writing from the Commissioner informing the organizer that the Commissioner does not oppose the holding of the assembly;

(b) the terms and conditions referred to in paragraph (a) as varied by the court by an order made under sub-section 15 (4); or

(c) the terms and conditions specified in an order of the court under this Ordinance as applicable to the holding of the assembly,

as the case requires, a person who participates in the assembly is not, by reason only of that participation, guilty of an offence against this Ordinance or against any law of the Territory relating to the movement or free passage of traffic or pedestrians or the obstruction of a person or vehicle in a public place.

Lawfulness of participation in public assemblies 7. (1) Subject to sub-section (2), it shall be lawful for a person to participate in a public assembly that is not an authorized public assembly.

(2) Sub-section (1) does not operate so as to constitute a defence to a prosecution of a person for an offence against any law in force in the Territory consisting of an act or omission occuring in the course of participation by that person in a public assembly that is not an authorized public assembly.

Authorized public assembly 8. (1) Subject to sub-section (2), a public assembly shall be taken to be authorized for the purposes of this Ordinance if a notification in relation to that assembly, being a notification that complies with the requirements specified in section 9, was served on the Commissioner in accordance with section 11 and

(a) the Commissioner has, by notice in writing, informed the organizer of the assembly that he does not oppose the holding of the assembly;

4 Public Assemblies No. 10, 1982

(b) if the notification was served on the Commissioner not less than 7 days before the date on which the assembly is held—the Commissioner did not— (i) in the case of a limited participation assembly—within 7 days;

or

(ii) in any other case—within 3 days, after the date on which the notification was served on him, inform the organizer of the assembly in writing that he opposed the holding of the assembly; (c) if the notification was served on the Commissioner not less than 7 days

before the date on which the assembly is held—the court has not made an order under section 18 prohibiting the holding of the assembly; or (d) if the notification was served on the Commissioner less than 7 days before the date on which the assembly is held—the court has made an

order under section 19 authorizing the holding of the assembly and that order has not been revoked by an order made under section 20.

(2) A limited participation assembly shall not be taken to be authorized for the purposes of this Ordinance if— (a) the notification in relation to that assembly was served on the Commissioner less than 14 days before the date on which the assembly

is held; or

(b) a copy of the notification in relation to that assembly was not, on the day on which that notification was served on the Commissioner, published in a daily newspaper circulating in the Territory.

Requirements for notification 9. A notification shall— (a) be in writing; (b) be signed by the person designated in it as the organizer of the relevant

public assembly; and (c) contain the following particulars: (i) the name and residential or business address of the organizer; (ii) the name of the organization or body, if any, on behalf of which

the notification is served; (iii) the date on which it is proposed that the assembly be held; (iv) the time and place at which it is anticipated that persons will assemble to participate in the assembly and the time at which it

is estimated that the assembly will disband; (v) the proposed route, if any, to be taken by the assembly, and details of any proposed stoppages; (vi) the anticipated number of participants; (vii) in the case of a prescribed public assembly -whether it is

proposed that only particular persons, or only persons included in particular classes of persons, participate in the assembly and,

Public Assemblies No. 10, 1982 5

if so, the names of those persons or descriptions of those classes sufficient to enable those persons to be identified; (viii) the purpose for which the assembly is to be held; (ix) such other particulars as are prescribed.

False or misleading information 10. A person shall not, in a notification, knowingly furnish information that is false or misleading in a material particular. Penalty: $200.

Service of document on Commissioner 11. A document to be served on the Commissioner under this Ordinance may be served by delivering it to him personally or by leaving it at— (a) the office of the Commissioner; or

(b) any police station in the Territory, with any police officer of or above the rank of Sergeant.

Restriction on approval of limited participation assembly 12. The Commissioner shall not inform the organizer of a limited participation assembly in writing that he opposes or does not oppose the holding of the assembly until —

(a) the expiration of a period of 4 days after the date on which a copy of the relevant notification was published in a daily newspaper circulating in the Territory; and (b) he has considered any applications referred to in sub-section 13(1)

served on him within that period.

Joining limited participation assembly 13. (1) On receiving an application for approval of the participation of a particular person or particular persons in a limited participation assembly (being an application that complies with the requirements specified in sub-section (2) and was served within the period of 4 days referred to in section

12), the Commissioner shall determine that application in conjunction with his consideration of the relevant notification.

(2) An application referred to in sub-section (1) shall (a) be in writing; (b) be signed by the applicant; and (c) contain the following particulars:

(i) the name and residential or business address of the applicant; (ii) the name of the organization or body, if any, on behalf of which, the application is made;

(hi) the name or names of the person or persons for whose participation approval is sought or, if approval is sought for the participation of persons included in a particular class of

6 Public Assemblies No. 10, 1982

persons, a description of that class sufficient to enable those persons to be identified; (iv) where approval is sought for the participation of persons included in a particular class of persons—an estimate of the

number of persons for whose participation approval is sought; (v) the purpose for which the person or persons for whose participation approval is sought wishes or wish to participate in the assembly.

(3) Where the Commissioner— (a) does not oppose the holding of a limited participation assembly; and (b) has received an application referred to in sub-section (1) in relation to that assembly, the Commissioner shall approve the participation in the assembly of the relevant person or persons unless he is of the opinion that that participation would not be in the public interest.

(4) In forming an opinion for the purposes of sub-section (3), the Commissioner shall have regard to— (a) the objects of this Ordinance specified in section 3 and, in particular, the right of peaceful assembly referred to in paragraph (a) of that

section;

(b) whether the purpose for which the person or persons for whose participation in the assembly approval is sought wishes or wish to participate in the assembly is consistent with the purpose for which the assembly is to be held; and (c) any likelihood that if that person or those persons were to participate

in that assembly— (i) serious public disorder would be occasioned; (ii) the safety of any person would be placed in jeopardy; (iii) damage to property would be occasioned; or (iv) the assembly would cause an obstruction that would, in the

circumstances, be of unreasonable size or duration.

(5) Where the Commissioner determines an application referred to in sub-section (1), he shall— (a) in the notice in writing informing the organizer of the relevant assembly that he does not oppose the holding of the assembly, inform

the organizer; and (b) inform the applicant in writing, of his decision and of the reasons for that decision.

Review of decision of Commissioner on application under section 13 14. (1) An organizer of a limited participation assembly or an applicant under section 13 in relation to such an assembly who is aggrieved by a decision of the Commissioner under that section approving or refusing to approve the

Public Assemblies No. 10, 1982 7

participation of a particular person or particular persons in the assembly may apply to the court for a review of the decision.

(2) On an application under sub-section (1), the court may, in its discretion, by order, affirm or set aside the decision of the Commissioner, and may make such other orders as it considers just.

Imposition of terms and conditions by Commissioner 15. (1) Subject to sub-section (2), the Commissioner may, in a notice in writing informing the organizer of a public assembly that he does not oppose the holding of the assembly, specify terms and conditions subject to compliance with which he does not oppose the holding of the assembly.

(2) The Commissioner is not entitled to specify, in a notice referred to in sub-section (1), terms and conditions compliance with which would have the effect of altering substantially the nature of the assembly to which the notice relates.

(3) An organizer of a public assembly may apply to the court for a review of any terms and conditions specified in a notice referred to in sub-section (1) in relation to the assembly.

(4) On an application under sub-section (3), the court may, in its discretion, by order, affirm, vary or set aside the terms and conditions under review, and the court may, in an order setting aside terms and conditions, specify other terms and conditions as applicable to the holding of the relevant

assembly in substitution for the terms and conditions set aside.

Matters to be taken into consideration by Commissioner 16. (1) The Commissioner shall not oppose the holding of a public assembly unless he is of the opinion that it would not be in the public interest for the assembly to be held.

(2) In forming an opinion for the purposes of sub-section (1), the Commissioner shall have regard to (a) the objects of this Ordinance specified in section 3 and, in particular, the right of peaceful assembly referred to in paragraph (a) of that

section; and (b) any likelihood that if the relevant assembly were to be held (i) serious public disorder would be occasioned; (ii) the safety of any person would be placed in jeopardy;

(iii) damage to property would be occasioned; or (iv) the assembly would cause an obstruction that would, in the circumstances, be of unreasonable size or duration.

Withdrawal of objection by Commissioner 17. Where -(a) the Commissioner has informed the organizer of a public assembly in writing that he opposes the holding of the assembly; and

8 Public Assemblies No. 10, 1982

(b) at any time before the date specified in the relevant notification as the date on which it is proposed that the ’assembly be held, the Commissioner, having taken into consideration any matters put by the organizer at a conference held in pursuance of paragraph 18 (2) (c) or

in any written representations made to him by the organizer or for any other reason, ceases to oppose the holding of the assembly,

the Commissioner shall forthwith, by notice in writing, inform the organizer that he does not oppose the holding of the assembly.

Application to court by Commissioner 18. (1) Subject to sub-section (2), where a notification was served on the Commissioner not less than 7 days before the date specified in the notification as the date on which it is proposed that the relevant public assembly be held,

the Commissioner may apply to the court for an order prohibiting the holding of the assembly.

(2) The Commissioner is not entitled to apply for an order referred to in sub-section (1) in relation to a proposed public assembly unless—

(a) within—

(i) in the case of a limited participation assembly—7 days; or

(ii) in any other case—3 days,

after the date on which the relevant notification was served on him, by notice in writing served on the organizer of the assembly in accordance with sub-section (3), he informed the organizer that he opposes the holding of the assembly;

(b) in the notice referred to in paragraph (a), he—

(i) furnished the reasons for his opposition to the holding of the assembly; and

(ii) invited the organizer to confer at a specified time and place with him or with a police officer nominated by him with respect to the proposed assembly or to make written representations to him with respect to the proposed assembly within a specified time;

(c) he, or the nominated police officer, made himself available so to confer at the time and place so specified; and

(d) he has taken into consideration any matters put by the organizer at a conference held in pursuance of paragraph (c) or in any written representations made to him by the organizer.

(3) A notice referred to in paragraph 2 (a) may be served on an organizer of a public assembly by delivering it to him personally or by leaving it at the address of the organizer specified in the notification with a person apparently resident or employed at that place and apparently over the age of 16 years.

Public Assemblies No. 10, 1982 9

(4) On an application under sub-section (1), the court may, in its discretion, by order— (a) prohibit the holding of the public assembly to which the application relates; or

(b) specify terms and conditions as applicable to the holding of the public assembly to which the application relates.

(5) Where— (a) the court refuses to make an order under sub-section (4) prohibiting the holding of a public assembly (being a limited participation assembly); and

(b) an application referred to in sub-section 13(1) in relation to that public assembly has been received by the Commissioner, sub-section 14 (2) applies in relation to that application as if the Commissioner had determined that application under section 13 and the applicant had applied

to the court under sub-section 14(1) for a review of the decision of the Commissioner determining that application.

Application to court by organizer 19. (1) Where— (a) a notification was served on the Commissioner less than 7 days before the date specified in the notification as the date on which it is proposed

that the relevant public assembly be held; and (b) the Commissioner has informed the organizer in writing that he opposes, or has not informed the organizer in writing that he does not oppose, the holding of the assembly, the organizer may apply to the court for an order authorizing the holding of the assembly.

(2) On an application under this section, the court may, in its discretion, by order, authorize the holding of the public assembly to which the application relates subject to such terms and conditions, if any, as are specified in the order.

Revocation of order authorizing assembly 20. (1) Where the court has made an order under sub-section 19 (2) authorizing the holding of a public assembly, the Commissioner may apply to the court for an order revoking the first-mentioned order on the ground that

(a) further information in relation to the proposed assembly has come into his possession after the date on which the first-mentioned order was made; and (b) having regard to that information, he is of the opinion that it would

not be in the public interest for the assembly to be held.

(2) On an application under sub-section (1), the court may, in its discretion, by order (a) revoke the previous order to which the application relates; or

10 Public Assemblies No. 10, 1982

(b) specify terms and conditions (including terms and conditions varying, in addition to or in substitution for any terms and conditions specified in the previous order to which the application relates) as applicable to the holding of the assembly to which the application relates.

Regard for public interest 21. (1) In determining an application under section 18, 19 or 20, the court shall consider whether it would not be in the public interest for the public assembly to which the application relates to be held.

(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), the court shall have regard to— (a) the objects of this Ordinance specified in section 3 and, in particular, the right of peaceful assembly referred to in paragraph (a) of that section; and (b) any likelihood that if the relevant assembly were to be held—

(i) serious public disorder would be occasioned; (ii) the safety of any person would be placed in jeopardy; (iii) damage to property would be occasioned; or (iv) the assembly would cause an obstruction that would, in the

circumstances, be of unreasonable size or duration.

Jurisdiction of court 22. Jurisdiction to hear and determine applications under this Ordinance is vested in the court.

Parties to applications 23. (1) The Commissioner shall be the respondent to an application to the court under this Ordinance made by an organizer of a public assembly.

(2) The organizer of a public assembly shall be the respondent to an application to the court under this Ordinance in relation to that assembly made by the Commissioner.

(3) The Commissioner and the organizer of a public assembly (being a limited participation assembly) shall each be a respondent to an application to the court under sub-section 14 (1) by an applicant under section 13 in relation to that assembly.

Breaches of the peace 24. (1) A person shall not, in or near a public assembly, engage in conduct that causes or provokes or is intended to cause or provoke a breach of the peace by any person.

Penalty: $200.

(2) When a police officer of or above the rank of Sergeant has reasonable grounds for believing that the conduct of a person in or near a public assembly

Public Assemblies No. 10,1982 11

is likely to cause or provoke a breach of the peace by any person, he may direct the first-mentioned person to leave the vicinity of the public assembly.

(3) A person who contravenes a direction given to him under sub-section (2) is guilty of an offence and punishable, on conviction, by a fine not exceeding $ 200. ~

(4) Nothing in this section affects the power of any court to require a person to enter into a recognizance, with or without sureties, to keep the peace or to be of good behaviour.

Unauthorized participation in limited participation assemblies 25. (1) Where a person other than a person who is an entitled person in relation to an authorized public assembly that is a limited participation assembly participates or attempts to participate in that assembly, a police officer of or above the rank of Sergeant may direct that person not to

participate in the assembly.

(2) A person who contravenes a direction given to him under sub-section (1) is guilty of an offence and punishable, on conviction, by a fine not exceeding $ 200.

(3) In sub-section (1), “entitled person”, in relation to an authorized public assembly that is a limited participation assembly, m eans-fa) a person who is specified, or who is included in a class of persons described, in the relevant notification in pursuance of sub-paragraph

9 (c) (vii); or

(b) a person whose participation in that assembly is approved by the Commissioner under sub-section 13 (3) or by order of the court under sub-section 14 (2).

Delegation 26. (1) The Commissioner may, either generally or as otherwise provided by the instrument of delegation, by writing signed by him, delegate to a police officer of or above the rank of Sergeant any of his powers under this Ordinance, other than this power of delegation.

(2) A power so delegated, when exercised by the delegate, shall, for the purposes of this Ordinance, be deemed to have been exercised by the Commissioner.

(3) A delegation under this section does not prevent the exercise of a power by the Commissioner.

Regulations 27. The Minister may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Ordinance, prescribing all matters which by this Ordinance are required or permitted to be prescribed or which are necessary or convenient to be

prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Ordinance.

12 Public Assemblies No. 10, 1982

SCHEDULE S e c t i o n 3

I N T E R N A T I O N A L C O V E N A N T O N C I V I L A N D P O L I T I C A L R I G H T S

Article 21

T h e r i g h t o f p e a c e f u l a s s e m b l y s h a l l b e r e c o g n i z e d . N o r e s t r i c t i o n s m a y b e p l a c e d o n t h e e x e r c i s e o f

t h i s r i g h t o t h e r t h a n t h o s e i m p o s e d i n c o n f o r m i t y w i t h t h e l a w a n d w h i c h a r e n e c e s s a r y i n a d e m o c r a t i c

s o c i e t y in t h e i n t e r e s t s o f n a t i o n a l s e c u r i t y o r p u b l i c s a f e t y , p u b l i c o r d e r ( ordrepublic), t h e p r o t e c t i o n

o f p u b l i c h e a l t h o r m o r a l s o r t h e p r o t e c t i o n o f t h e r i g h t s a n d f r e e d o m s o f o t h e r s .

NOTE

1. Notified in the Commonwealth o f Australia Gazette on 26 March 1982.

Printed by Authority by the Commonwealth Government Printer

Explanatory Statement

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES ORDINANCE 1982 No. 10 of 1982 TRAFFIC (AM ENDM ENT) ORDINANCE 1982 THEATRES AND PUBLIC HALLS (AMENDMENT) ORDINANCE 1982

The Public Assemblies Ordinance 1982 recognises the right to peaceful assembly in accordance with Article 21 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. There is no requirement for all public assemblies to

be authorised. However, where the procedure of notification which is set out in the proposed Ordinance is followed, immunity from prosecution of offences relating to obstruction of t r a f f i c is conferred. Where the Commissioner of Police

opposes a proposed public assembly he may seek an order from the Supreme Court to prohibit the holding of the assembly.

The Ordinance enables the Commissioner to approve limited participation for a public assembly where that assembly is to be held on a day of special significance,namely, Anzac Day, Canberra Day and such other days as the Minister for the Capital Territory declares to be of special significance. Persons excluded from such an assembly are, however, able to

apply to the Commissioner to participate in the assembly and persons aggrieved by his decision may apply to the Court.

The Ordinance provides the police with powers of direction where per» ons engage in conduct which causes or provokes or is likesy to cause or provoke a breach of the peace and where unauthorised persons take part in a limited

participation assembly.

Details of the Ordinance are set out below:

Section 1 cites the short t i t l e of the Ordinance as the Public Assemblies Ordinance 1982.

Section 2 provides for the Ordinance to come into operation on a oate to be fixed by notice by the Minister for the Capital Territory and published in the Gazette.

Section 3 sets out the objects of the Ordinance as being to recognise the right of peaceful assembly in accordance with Article 21 of the Covenant, and to ensure to the greatest extent that is practicable that persons enjoy the freedom to

participate in public assemblies subject only to such restrictions as are necessary in the interests of public order and safety or to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons. The Ordinance is required to be construed in

accordance with these objects.

Section 4 is an interpretation provision providing, inter alia, that a 'day of special significance' includes Anzac Day and Canberra Day.

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Sect i on 5 enables t he Mi ni st er t o decl ar e a day of

s peci a l s i g n i f i c a n c e where he is of the opinion t h a t i t is a

day of n a t i o n a l , h i s t o r i c , r e l i g i o u s or s oci al s i g n i f i c a n c e or

solemnity t o or for t he people of Au s t r a l i a , t he community in

t he T e r r i t o r y or a sect i on of t h a t community, which de c l a r a t i on

must be publi shed in t he Gazette not l a t e r than 21 days before

t h a t day and must be tabl ed in both Houses of Parliament

wi t hi n 15 s i t t i n g days, whereby the de c l a r a t i on may be

disapproved and made of no e f f e c t t h e r e a f t e r .

Section 5 provides t h a t where an assembly is held

s u b s t a n t i a l l y in accordance with t he p a r t i c u l a r s s peci f i ed in

t he r e l e v a n t n o t i f i c a t i o n and with any terms and condi t i ons

imposed by the Commissioner and the Court, a person p a r t i c i p a t i n g in t he assembly i s not by reason only of t ha t

p a r t i c i p a t i o n , g u i l t y of an offence agai nst t he Ordinance or

any law of t he T e r r i t o r y r e l a t i n g to t he movement or fr ee

passage of t r a f f i c or pedes t r i ans or the obs t r uct i on of a

person or vehi cl e in a publi c place.

Sect ion 7 provides t h a t i t i s lawful f or a person to

p a r t i c i p a t e in a publi c assembly which i s not aut hori sed but

t h a t t h i s does not c o n s t i t u t e a defence t o o f f ences committed

during the course of t h a t p a r t i c i p a t i o n .

Section 3(1) provides t h a t an assembly shal l be

taken t o be aut hori sed where a n o t i f i c a t i o n complies with t he

requirement s s pe c i f i e d in s ect i on 9, was served on the

Commissioner in accordance with sect i on 11, and

. t he Commissioner has informed the organi ser in

wr i t i ng t h a t he does not oppose the holding of

the assembly, or

. where not l e s s than 7 days not i ce was given t o

the Commissioner and the Commissioner has not informed the organi s er withi n 3 days or, in t he

case of a li mi t ed p a r t i c i p a t i o n assembly, within

7 days, t h a t he opposes t he holding of the

assembly, or

. where not l ess than 7 days not i ce was given t o

t he Commissioner and t he Court has not made an order pr ohi bi t i ng the holding of the assembly, or

. where l ess than 7 days not i ce was given t o t he

Commissioner and the Court has made an order aut hori si ng t he holding of the assembly and t h a t

order has not been revoked.

Section 8(2) provides t hat in addi t i on a l i mit ed

p a r t i c i p a t i o n assembly shall not be taken t o be aut hori sed

unless at l e a s t 14 days not i ce was given t o the Commissioner and a copy of t he n o t i f i c a t i o n was published in a dai l y

newspaper c i r c u l a t i n g in the Te r r i t or y on the same day as i t

was served on t he Commissioner.

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Section 9 provides that a notification shall be in writing, be signed by the organiser and must specify the name and address of the organiser; the name of the organisation (where relevant); the proposed date; the anticipated time and

place of assembly and it s disbandment; the proposed route; the anticipated number of participants; in the case of a public assembly which is held on a day of special significance, whether i t is proposed that participation should be limited

and, if so, in what manner; and the purpose of the assembly.

Section 10 provides that i t is an offence to furnish false or misleading information in a notification.

Section 11 provides that a document may be served on the Commissioner personally or by leaving i t at his office or any police station in the Territory with a police officer of and above the rank of Sergeant.

Section 12 requires the Commissioner to wait 4 days after he has received notice of a limited participation assembly before he informs the organiser whether or not he opposes the assembly and to consider any applications made

under section 13 which he received in that time.

Section 13(1) requires the Commissioner to consider applications for approval of participation at the same time as considering the relevant notification.

Section 13(2) requires applications and approvals of participation to be signed in writing and to specify the applicant's name and address, the name of the organisation ( if relevant), the names of the person(s) or a description of the

classes of persons sufficient to enable those persons to be identified, the estimated number of persons, and the purpose for which those persons are seeking approval to participate in the assembly.

Section 13(3) provides that where the Commissioner does not oppose the holding of a limited participation assembly he must approve the additional participation any person who has applied to him unless he is of the opinion that i t would

not be in the public interest.

Section 13(4) sets out the c r it e r ia to which the Commissioner must have regard in deciding whether participation of persons would be in the public interest. He must consider the objects of the proposed Ordinance as set out in section 3

and in particular the right of peaceful assembly. He must also consider whether the purpose those persons have in seeking to participate is consistent with the purpose for which the assembly is to be held and whether there is any likelihood that

if those persons participated serious public disorder or damage to property would r e s u l t , the safety of any person would be placed in jeopardy, or the assembly would cause an unreasonable obstruction.

-41-

Sect i on 13(5) requi res t he Commissioner t o inform the or gani s er and the appl i cant ( s ) of his deci si on as to

whether t hose persons applying to p a r t i c i p a t e have been approved.

Section 14 enables an organi ser or a person

aggrieved by t he Commissioner' s deci si on under sect i on 13 t o apply t o t he Supreme Court for a review of the deci si on. The

Court is abl e t o make such orders as i t consi ders j u s t .

Sect ion 15 enables the Commissioner t o impose terms and condi t i ons s ubj ect t o which he does not oppose the holding of t he assembly although he may not speci f y terms and condi t i ons which would s u b s t a n t i a l l y a l t e r the nat ure of the

assemb"!y. His deci si on may be reviewed by t he Court which may al so s peci f y d i f f e r e n t terms and condi t i ons .

Section 15 requi res the Commissioner before he opposes t he assembly to consider t he obj ect s of t he Ordinance and whether i t is l i k e l y t hat any seri ous public di sor der or

damage t o proper t y would r e s u l t , t he s a f e t y of any person would be put in j eopardy, or the assembly would cause an unreasonable obs t r uct i on.

Sect ion 17 enables the Commissioner t o withdraw hi s obj ect i on t o an assembly and r equi r es him t o inform the

or gani s er in wr i t i ng of his withdrawal.

Sect i on 18 enables the Commissioner to apply to theCourt f or an order pr ohi bi t i ng the assembly where he has been given not l ess than 7 days not i ce. However, he must f i r s t

inform t he organi s er t h a t he opposes the assembly, speci fy hi s r easons, and i n v i t e the organi ser to a conference with him

or a nominated pol i ce o f f i c e r or t o make wr i t t en

r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s . Only a f t e r he or the pol i ce o f f i c e r has made

himself a va i l a bl e at the conference and has taken any matters r a i s e d by t he organi ser into account, may he approach the

Court. The Court may make an order pr ohi bi t i ng the assembly or speci fyi ng terms and condi tions for the holding of the

assembly.

Section 19 provides t ha t where l ess than 7 days

not i ce of an assembly i s given t o t he Commissioner and the Commissioner has indi cated t ha t he opposes or has not indi cated t h a t he does not oppose the assembly, the organi s er may apply t o the Court f or an order aut hori si ng i t s be' ng held. The

Court may at t ach terms and condi t i ons to such an order.

Section 20 enables the Commissioner t o apply t o the Court f or an order revoking an order made under sect i on 19 where he has received f ur t her information which makes him of the opinion t h a t i t would not be in the public i n t e r e s t for the

assembly t o be held. The Court may make t he order or may speci fy terms and condi tions for the holding of the assembly.

-5-

Section 21 requires the Court in determining an application under section 18, 19 or 20 to consider whether it would be in the public interest for the assembly to be held. In considering this the Court must have regard to the objects

of the Ordinance, and whether it is likely that serious public disorder or damage to property could result, the safety of any person would be placed in jeopardy or the assembly would cause an unreasonable obstruction.

Section 22 gives jurisdiction to the Supreme Court to hear and determine applications under the Ordinance.

Section 23 specifies in respect of which applications to the Court the Commissioner is a respondent, inrespect of which an organiser is a respondent, and in respect of which an applicant is a respondent.

Section 24 makes it an offence for a person to engage in conduct in or near a public assembly which causes or provokes or is intended to cause or provoke a breach of the peace by any person. Where a police officer of or above the rank of Sergeant has reasonable grounds for believing that a

person's conduct is likely to cause or provoke a breach of the peace he may direct that person to leave the vicinity of the assembly. It is an offence to contravene such a direction.

Section 25 enables a police officer of or above the rank of Sergeant to direct a person who is not entitled to participate in a limited participation assembly to refrain from participating and to contravene such a direction is an offence.

Section 26 enables the Commissioner to delegate his powers to a police officer of or above the rank of Sergeant.

Section 27 enables the Minister to make regulations.

The Schedule to the proposed Ordinance sets out the text of Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Traffic (Amendment) Ordinance 1982 repeals sections 23 and 23A of the Principal Ordinance. Those provisions deal with public assemblies and a^e inconsistent with the Public Assemblies Ordinance 1982.

The Theatres and Public Halls (Amendment) Ordinance 1982 adds section 26(3) to the Principal Ordinance. Section 26(3) provides that section 26 of the existing Ordinance does not apply to an authorised public assembly within the meaning of the Public Assemblies Ordinance 1982.

O r d . N o . 1 4 / 8 2

1 5 / 8 2

1 6 / 8 2