Cyberspace as a Place of Protest and the Constitutional Implied Freedom of Political Communication

Jacob Deem, Alexandra McEwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This article combines legal analysis with insights from legal geography and deliberative democracy scholarship to develop a perspective on cyberspace as a “place” in which protest occurs, exploring the consequences of cyberspace as “place” for the implied freedom of political communication. Recent amendments to the 'Criminal Code Act 1995' (Cth) introducing “ag-gag” provisions and the decision in 'Commissioner of Police (NSW) v Gray' provide case studies to consider cyberspace as a “place” where political communication is regulated. As background, we consider the meaning of “protest” and examine how place functions in a physical protest in the context of recent High Court decisions. We focus on the Court’s view that the place in which protest is held can be integral to the political communication itself, and then demonstrate that protests in cyberspace can fulfil similar functions. Thus, the internet can operate as a “place” at which protest, and political communication occur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-347
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Law Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


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