"The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

Albert Einstein

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Links & resources

Activist legal support in Victoria

Aboriginal Legal Service

The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Co-operative Limited provides legal advice and representation for the Koorie community.


Melbourne Office
273 High Street, Preston
PO Box 52, Preston VIC 3072

(03) 9418 5999 (24 hours)
1800 064 865 (toll free)

Environmental Justice Australia

Environmental Justice Australia are nature’s lawyers. They use the law to protect our environment, and work to change laws to make sure they protect the right of all Australians to clean air, clean water and healthy ecosystems.


Level 3, The 60L Green Building
60 Leicester Street, Carlton 

(PO Box 12123)
A'Beckett Street, VIC 8006

(03) 9328 4811

Federation of Community Legal Centres

Many of the 49 Victorian community legal centres can undertake representation or give advice to citizens in criminal matters.
They are also useful sources for referrals to sympathetic lawyers; bear in mind that their resources are limited.
For a full list of community legal centres in Victoria go to:


Level 3, 225 Bourke Street
Melbourne, 3000

(03) 9652 1500

Justice Connect

Justice Connect is an independent not for profit legal referral service. It seeks to meet the legal needs of community groups, not for profit organisations and individuals from disadvantaged or marginalised backgrounds. PILCH acts as a facilitator for the community to access pro bono legal assistance from the private legal profession.


7/461 Bourke Street
Melbourne 3000

(03) 8636 4400 (general)
(03) 8636 4444 (legal inquiries)

(03) 8636 4455

Lawyers for Forests

The best source of legal information and legal support for Forest Activists in Victoria is the organisation Lawyers for Forests, an association of legal professionals working to promote the conservation and better management of Australia's remaining native forests. Lawyers for Forests provide information to conservationists on their rights and responsibilities when taking part in a protest and free legal advice and representation where needed after the event.


PO Box 550
West Melbourne 8007

Victoria Legal Aid

There are a number of Melbourne suburban as well as regional Victorian Offices of Victoria Legal Aid, they are all listed here:


350 Queen St
Melbourne, 3000

Ph: 1300 792 387 Monday to Friday, 8.45am-5.15pm

Women's Legal Service Victoria

Women's Legal Service Victoria (WLSV) is a statewide legal service for women, specialising in relationship breakdown and violence against women.


Level 10, 277 William Street
Melbourne 3000

(03) 8622 0600
1800 133 302 (toll free)

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Activist legal information & support (Australian)

Australian Prisoners


65 Bellevue St, Glebe,
NSW 2037, Australia
P.O. Box 386, Broadway,
NSW 2007, Australia

612-9660 9111

612-9660 9100

Justice Action

Justice Action is a community-based organisation of criminal justice activists. They are consumers, prisoners, academics, victims of crime, ex-prisoners, lawyers and general community members dedicated to making a change. They believe that meaningful change depends upon the free exchange of information, community involvement and the taking of responsibility by all members of the community.


PO Box 386, Broadway
NSW 2007
Trades Hall
Suite 204, 4 Goulburn St
Sydney NSW 2000

02 9283 0123

02 9283 0112

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Legal or civil rights organisations

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission

The ACCC promotes competition and fair trade in the market place to benefit consumers, businesses and the community. It also regulates national infrastructure services. Its primary responsibility is to ensure that individuals and businesses comply with the Commonwealth competition, fair trading and consumer protection laws.


Level 35, The Tower
360 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne Central
Melbourne Vic 3000
GPO Box 520
Melbourne Vic 3001

(03) 9290 1800

(03) 9663 3699

Electronic Frontiers Australia

Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) is a non-profit national organisation representing internet users concerned with online rights and freedoms. EFA was established in 1994, is independent of government and commerce, and is funded by membership subscriptions and donations from individuals and organisations with an altruistic interest in promoting online civil liberties.


(02) 9011 1088

(02) 8002 4009

Jesuit Social Services

Jesuit Social Services works to build a just society where all people can live to their full potential - by partnering with community to support those most in need and working to change policies, practices, ideas and values that perpetuate inequality, prejudice and exclusion.


P.O. Box 271
Richmond 3121

(03) 9427 7388

(03) 9427 1819

Liberty Victoria

Liberty Victoria, is an independent non-government organisation committed to the defence and extension of human rights and civil liberties. It seeks to promote Australia's compliance with the major human rights instruments set out in international law.
Liberty conducts community education about the importance of civil liberties and human rights. Liberty's work involves liaison with government, police and regulatory authorities to prevent erosion of rights and freedoms or to enhance their protection. This includes making submissions, conducting law reform campaigns and meeting with members of parliament.


GPO Box 3161
Melbourne, Victoria
Australia 3001

(03) 9670 6422

note:     Liberty Victoria does not provide legal advice.

Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby

The VGLRL is a lobby group which aims to achieve equality and social justice for lesbians and gay men. They do this by working with the media, undertaking and supporting research and lobbying politicians directly. Their website features detailed, searchable information about areas such as anti-discrimination law, health, inheritance, property division, death compensation and State superannuation for GLBTI people in Victoria.


P.O. Box 21305
Little Lonsdale Street
Victoria, 8011

0417 484 438

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Human Rights contacts in Australia

Australian Human Rights Commission

The Australian Human Rights Commission is the new name of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. The Commission was established in 1986 by an act of the federal Parliament. It is an independent statutory organisation and reports to the federal Parliament through the Attorney-General.


Level 3, 175 Pitt Street
GPO Box 5218

(02) 9284 9600
Complaints infoline:  1300 656 419
General enquiries and publications: 1300 369 711
TTY:   1800 620 241

(02) 9284 9611

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

The Human Rights section of DFAT covers many topics to do with global cooperation and human rights. It also lists the current status of Australia’s reports on human rights.


Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has produced Protecting Human Rights in Australia a Community Education Kit. The Kit is comprised of a series of fact sheets that provide basic information about the human rights that affect everyone in Australia.


Level 9, 299 Elizabeth St
Sydney NSW 2000 Australia

02 8898 6500

02 8898 6555

PDF:       Protecting Human Rights in Australia

Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission

 The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory body with responsibilities under three laws:


Level 3, 204 Lygon Street
Carlton 3053

1300 292 153 or (03) 9032 3583 or TTY: 1300 289 621

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Security for Human Rights Defenders

Integrated Security: The Manual

This site provides Integrated Security Workshops that have been developed for women human rights activists. Also there are excellent workshop materials are available for download.


New Tactics in Human Rights

This excellent website includes a wide range of resources. Two online international dialogues have discussed security issues: Staying Safe, Security Resources for Human Rights Defenders and Being Well and Staying Safe.




Workbook on security - This guide provides practical steps for human rights defenders at risk published by Front Line.
This Workbook is informed by the experience of human rights defenders around the world, many of who operate in extremely repressive and risky environments. The Workbook takes you through the steps to producing a security plan – for yourself and for your organisation. It follows a systematic approach for assessing your security situation and developing risk and vulnerability reduction strategies and tactics.



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Digital security

Digital security for activists

Written for activists by activists and put together by Riseup, this is a 60 page zine including personal stories and practical advice about digital security and online organizing.


Security in-a-box

The site offers tools and tactics for your digital security - a collaborative effort of the Tactical Technology Collective and Front Line. It was created to meet the digital security and privacy needs of advocates and human rights defenders.




Surveillance Self-Defense Project

Resources from the Electronic Frontiers Foundation.



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Activist security resources

Activist Security

This site offers free resources to download including A Practical Security Handbook for Activists and Campaigns; Infiltrators, Informers and Grasses; and A Guide to Secure Meetings in Pubs. The Security Handbook covers a range of security issues for activists, from media strategy to planning actions, to dealing with surveillance and infiltration. Readers would do well to heed the warnings included in Infiltrators, Informers and Grasses - don’t become paranoid, don’t gossip, and never make accusations about people without significant investigation and evidence.


Security Culture - A Comprehensive Guide for Activists in Australia
This site provides information about Security Culture throughout activist groups in Australia which may be working on addressing various issues such as social justice, equality, climate change, human rights, radical environmentalism, anti-globalisation; and many others. There is a book available to download or read online..



Security Culture for Activists

A resource by The Ruckus Society, walks activists through security measures we can take to safeguard ourselves, including helpful advice about people, groups and data security.


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Activist organisations

Friends of the Earth (Melbourne)

 Friends of the Earth is a community based activist organisation which works towards an ecologically sustainable and socially equitable society.


312 Smith Street
Collingwood Melbourne
PO Box 222
Fitzroy  VIC  3065

(03) 9419 8700  toll free 1300 852 081

(03) 9416 2081

Green Left Weekly

Green Left Weekly is a campaigning paper: it aims to help strengthen the anti-racist, feminist, student, trade union, environment, gay and lesbian, civil liberties and anti-imperialist movements in Australia by linking the issues and activists, and by letting people know how they can join others in action for change.


Refugee Action Collective (Victoria)

 Refugee Action Collective (Victoria) was established in late 2001 as an open grassroots collective, comprising a broad cross section of people to change Australian government policy on refugees.

 PO Box 578
 Carlton South
 Vic 3053

(03) 9659 3505


The Wilderness Society (TWS)

The Wilderness Society is a national, community-based environmental advocacy organisation whose mission is to protect, promote and restore wilderness and natural processes across Australia for the survival and ongoing evolution of life on Earth.

Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane,
Melbourne, Vic, 3000

03 9639 5455


Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby

The VGLRL is a lobby group which aims to achieve equality and social justice for lesbians and gay men. We do this by working with the media, undertaking and supporting research and lobbying politicians directly.

P.O. Box 2156,
Fitzroy 3065,
Victoria, Australia


Victorian Peace Network (VPN)

The Victorian Peace Network is a large and well-organised network of affiliates taking action against the recent build-up, war and occupation of Iraq and campaigns on other related issues of militarism, weapons of mass destruction and conflict in the Middle East.

Suite 2
Victorian Trades Hall Council
54 Victoria Street
Carlton South Vic 3053

03 9659 3582


Victorian Trades Hall Council

The major role of the VTHC is the co-ordination of union activities and campaigns. When a union requires assistance and support for an issue which has broad consequences for more than one union, the VTHC can become involved in a co-ordinating role. It also provides assistance to its affiliated unions with research, negotiations and advocacy. The VTHC is also the central State organisation for communicating with the public about trade union issues. It is responsible for implementing ACTU policy within Victoria and represents unionists in lobbying State Parliament for social and industrial reforms. It is the body which most people contact if they have any query about trade unions.

Ground Floor
Old Building
Trades Hall
Cnr. Victoria & Lygon Streets
Carlton South, 3053
PO Box 93 Trades Hall
54 Victoria Street
Carlton South 3053

(03) 9662 3511

(03) 9663 2127


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International activist legal support contacts

Anarchist Black Cross Federation

Grassroots international network providing support to radical political prisoners.


Just cause law collective

Just Cause Law Collective Mobile Legal Support Team Handbooks - This Oakland California organisation provided comprehensive and detailed plain language community legal information with a particular focus on information for marginalised and racially targeted communities. It also contained an useful Mobile Legal Team Handbook and activist specific legal information and legal Observer guides.


Legal Defence & Monitoring Group

The Legal Defence and Monitoring Group describe themselves as Volunteers for the Defence of Civil Protest and the Right of Assembly'. The original idea behind the Legal Defence And Monitoring Group was to form legal back up on demonstrations in and around London (Britain). Working in the same way as the Trafalgar Square Defendants Campaign (TSDC) during the Poll Tax demos, the main LDMG roles are to:

  • monitor police behaviour on demonstrations & pickets
  • give unconditional support to anyone arrested or injured
  • provide sympathetic solicitors to those people arrested who want one
  • assist anybody assaulted by the police or wrongly arrested to sue the police
  • monitor court cases and provide support to those held on remand

The site is covers information and resources for legal teams and legal observers. Their legal rights sections covers the European Convention on Human Rights and practical arrest rights.


Political Research Associates (PRA)

This is an independent, non-profit research centre that studies antidemocratic, authoritarian, and other oppressive movements, institutions, and trends. PRA is based on progressive values, and is committed to advancing an open, democratic, and pluralistic society. PRA provides accurate, reliable research and analysis to activists, journalists, educators, policy makers, and the public at large.
PRA is an essential resource for activists, organisers, journalists, community groups, educatorsanyone needing accurate, up-to-date information on the political Right.


R2K Legal Collective

The R2K Legal Collective is comprised of:

  • activists
  • working groups composed of activists (such as Outreach, Fundraising, and Media)
  • the Legal Strategy Group (a closed group of attorneys, defendants, and supporters that has access to some confidential information but is not authorized to make decisions for the entire collective without approval)
  • the Legal Team (criminal and civil lawyers who have volunteered or are paid to work on these cases, including public defenders, private attorneys, NY private attorneys, and national criminal law experts)


Social Activists Legal Students Association

The purpose of the SALSA is to:

  • Advance the view that the law can be used as a tool, by activists, to address issues of social justice, inequality, poverty and environmental protection.
  • Research legal issues related to activism and offer this information as a resource to activists and members of the community.
  • Provide a forum in which student activists interested in using the law in this manner can discuss issues related to legal activism and can meet and interact with other student activists and with people actively using the law as an activist tool.
  • Promote ideals of equality, justice, democracy and environmentalism at Weldon via guest speakers, seminars, workshops, etc.
  • Offer direction and access to necessary resources for activists who need legal assistance.

This simple and low-grade site is a great example of a specifically activist Legal Support Team and contains a range of downloadable PDF guides, articles and links with other legal sites.



Urban75 magazine is a huge UK ezine site featuring bulletin boards, photos, protest, rave, drugs & more. Has a huge activist legal rights section at which covers everything from legal rights for ravers, road protestors, football fans and activists. It has bust cards, links to the London based Legal Defence and Monitoring Group and guides on activist safety and information about police complaints and legal issues.


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Activist training resources

Plan to win - Social Movement Learning


The Change Agency

This website supports effective community action through education, facilitation and research.


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Activist legal resources online

Australian law journals on-line

The Australian Law Journal

High Court Review

Australian law reform bodies

Council of Australian and New Zealand Law Reform Agencies

Australian Law Reform Commission

Victorian Law Reform Committee

Australian lawyers & law associations

National Association of Community Legal Centres

Australian Bar Association

Australian Lawyers Alliance

Law Council of Australia

Law Society of the Australian Capital Territory

Law Society of New South Wales

New South Wales Law Foundation

Victoria Law Foundation

Law Society of Western Australia 

Australian legal resources and directories

Australian Legal Information Institute (AUSTLII)

ComLaw (Commonwealth Law) incorporating the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (FRLI)

FindLaw Australia

Foundation Law (sponsored by NSW Law Foundation)

LawRunner Australia

Legal Resources and Links (Law Society of NSW)

National Library of Australia - Australian Law on the Internet

Environmental Defenders Office (EDO)

The EDO produces a range of plain English Fact Sheets to explain different aspects of New South Wales and Commonwealth laws which affect the environment and environmental campaigning. You can browse the Fact Sheets by alphabetical order or search our website for information you need.


Environmental protestors fact sheet

The Environment Defenders Office Victoria has developed a number of fact sheets and kits including Environmental protestors fact sheet which is a resource for activists who are harassed because of their campaign activities. The resource materials may assist you and your group in understanding, preventing or responding to harassment. 


Responding to legal threats

ABC All-Media Law Handbook: for Journalists, Presenters, Program Makers, Authors, Editors and Publishers (Sydney: Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Safe speech and managing the media, B. Donald, paper delivered to EDO Conference "Defending the Defenders", October 1998.


For a useful set of guides and factsheets regarding defamation and legal threats go to the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO)



A Bush Lawyer's Guide to Avoiding & Surviving Litigation against Public Participation by Dr. Greg Ogle. This is a useful guide based on the experiences of activists in South Australia who received legal threats during the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Campaign.


Slapping on the Writs: Defamation, Developers and Community Activism is a highly recommended 95-page book by Melbourne Senior Counsel, Brian Walters. Published by University of NSW Press in 2003.


Parliament of Victoria

Victorian Government

Supreme Court of Victoria (including unreported judgments)

Magistrates Court of Victoria

County Court of Victoria (including judgments)

Victorian Statute Book

Victorian Acts and Statutory Rules

Victorian Consolidated Acts

Victorian Hansard

Supreme Court of Victoria Decisions

Victorian Administrative Appeals Tribunal Decisions

Department of Justice

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General resources for activists

Association for progressive communications

APC believes the internet is a global public good. Founded in 1990, they are an international network and non-profit organisation that wants everyone to have access to a free and open internet to improve our lives and create a more just world. They have developed an Internet Rights Charter covering the following:

  • Internet access for all
  • Freedom of expression and association
  • Access to knowledge
  • Shared learning and creation – free and open source software and technology development
  • Privacy, surveillance and encryption
  • Governance of the internet
  • Awareness, protection and realisation of rights

For detailed informetion visit:


Medical aid for activists

Excellent medical resources.


What to do about political spying

A useful guide by Linda Lotz of the American Friends Service Committee.


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