Sources of the Law
Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988
Provides that land required for the special purposes of the National Capital is managed by the National Capital Authority. No works may be performed in a Designated Area unless the Authority has approved the works in writing.
Crimes Act 1914
Defines prohibited places, and various offences against the Commonwealth, including damage to Commonwealth property. See also the Crimes Act 1900 (ACT) which deals with behaviour in public places and the possession of weapons.
Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1967 and Regulations
The Act gives force of law to Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations taking special steps to protect the premises of foreign missions against any intrusion, damage, disturbance or impairment of the mission’s dignity. The responsible Commonwealth Minister has the power to order the removal of prescribed objects which are considered to impair the dignity of, or endanger, a diplomatic mission or its staff.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Australia is a signatory to the Covenant, which advocates the right to freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly, subject to necessary restrictions.
National Capital Plan
Identifies Designated Areas, which are areas of land having the special characteristics of the National Capital. No structures may be erected in Designated Areas without the prior written approval of the National Capital Authority.
Parliamentary Precincts Act 1988
Provides that the Parliamentary Precincts are under the joint control and management of the Presiding Officers. This gives the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives power to control access to, and use of the Precincts.
Public Order (Protection of Persons and Property) Act 1971
Creates offences relating to matters such as trespass on, and obstruction of premises, including protected premises, unlawful damage to property and physical violence without lawful excuse.
Trespass on Commonwealth Lands Ordinance 1932
Prohibits camping and the erection or occupation of structures on unleased Commonwealth land without a permit. Parking or leaving vehicles on certain land without a permit is also prohibited. Damage to trees or plants is an offence. Police have powers to remove unauthorised structures, vehicles or articles. The National Capital Authority has power to issue permits.
This is not an exhaustive list of relevant laws. Separate laws apply in the ACT in relation to littering, consumption of liquor, use of public streets, and defamation.