ADF International

Avery v. Preston et al.

Date of most recent action: 27 Jul 2016

Tasmanian citizens challenge buffer zone law used to silence pro-life advocacy.

What’s at Stake

Freedom of speech


The Reproductive Health Act in the State of Tasmania, Australia, prevents pro-life advocacy within a 150-metre radius of an abortion clinic. After a protest in April 2015, several pro-life advocates were charged with violating the act, and one has since been convicted and fined $3,000.

Through an allied lawyer of ADF International, one of the pro-life advocates, Graham Preston, is appealing his conviction and challenging the buffer zone law, arguing that it is a violation of the Tasmanian Constitution’s protection of the freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

On the day of the protest, Preston was holding a sign that said ‘Everyone has a right to life–Article Three Universal Declaration of Rights.’ Graham has stated that he ‘find[s] it an incredible thing that a person can be arrested in Australia for promoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.’

The buffer zone legislation is the first of its kind in Australia, and a decision in favour of the pro-life advocates could have a national impact in support of free speech.

Our Role in the Case

ADF International provided funding to our allied lawyer representing the challengers.

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