CounterAct provides training, capacity building and resources to environmental and social justice campaigners across Australia.


In choosing to participate in peaceful civil disobedience actions you can often come face to face with police.  Here are some tools to assist you – firstly, with understanding your legal rights when participating in actions, but also some tips in dealing with police, as well as minimising the information you share with them if they happen to want to keep an eye on you.

Police liaison


Be aware that some information on external websites listed may be out of date, or only relevant to various state jurisdictions. Please ensure you double check or get legal advice before relying on any information linked below.


  • Our comprehensive legal guide for climate activists (2015) with very useful general information also
  • Activist Rights – comprehensive resource for all activists, and a great outline of Victoria specific law
  • Lawyers for forests – provide low cost legal advice to forest activists arrested for nonviolent direct action in Victoria
  • Melbourne Activist Legal Support – a network of volunteer lawyers and legal activists we are involved with who provide legal support, training and field human rights observers

Additional resources no longer relevant are archived at the bottom of the page

New South Wales

  • Justice tracks – an activist legal collective in NSW who aren’t currently active, though their excellent resources still available (check dates before relying on accuracy though)
  • Get street smart – an excellent overview for youth, and others on legal rights in NSW


  • Caxton legal centre – Excellent comprehensive guide to police powers and your rights (2008, out of date)

Activist security culture, digital privacy & surveillance


Past resources – these resources are now redundant due to lack of use, or law changes