Home Business News Extinction Rebellion win High Court challenge against unlawful police ban

Extinction Rebellion win High Court challenge against unlawful police ban

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
6th Nov 19 10:35 am

Extinction Rebellion (XR) has won their High Court challenge against the Metropolitan Police over the unlawful London wide ban on protests.

Last month the police imposed the unlawful ban that prohibited more than two people linked to the protests in which hundreds were arrested.

Lord Justice Dingemans said, “Separate gatherings, separated both in time and by many miles, even if co-ordinated under the umbrella of one body, are not a public assembly within the meaning of… the Act.

“The XR autumn uprising intended to be held from 14 to 19 October was not therefore a public assembly… therefore the decision to impose the condition was unlawful because there was no power to impose it under… the Act.”

Baroness Jenny Jones, Caroline Lucas MP, Clive Lewis MP, David Drew MP, Ellie Chowns MEP, George Monbiot, and Adam Allnut bought the action on behalf of the group to challenge the Metropolitan Police’s blanket ban on XR being allowed to protest across the whole of London for the rest of the week.

Bindman’s Solicitors and Doughty Street Chambers advised over the challenge of the Metropolitan Police use of Section 14 of the Public Order Act to restrict the protests, saying the “ban is a disproportionate and unprecedented curtailment of the right to free speech and free assembly.”

XR solicitors, barristers and QC’s along with Human Rights experts lodged a judicial review in the High Court within days, saying the police went beyond the powers of the Public Order Act.

In October Anti-Brexit barrister, Jo Maugham QC said the move by the Met Police was “a huge overreach” of police powers.

Adam Wagner another human rights lawyer described the move by the Met Police as “draconian and extremely heavy handed.”

Wagner said on Twitter, in October, “We have a right to free speech under article 10 and to free assembly under article 11 of the (annex to the) Human Rights Act.

“These can only be interfered with if the interference is lawful and proportionate. I think the police may have gone too far here.”

Allan Hogarth, of Amnesty International, said in a statement the ban is “an unlawful restriction on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

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