Day 1 of the Trial

Monday 28th was the first day of what’s set to be a five day hearing with judges Lord Justice Richard and Lord Openshaw. The hearing will encompass four Judicial Reviews which are:

  • one Judicial Review into the pre-emptive arrests  for ‘breach of the peace’ on the day of the royal wedding
  • one Judicial Review into the pre-emptive arrest of a minor for ‘criminal damage’ the police believed he would cause (evidence: two pens)
  • one Judicial Review into the raid on the Grow Heathrow squat the day before the royal wedding – for which a supposed link to rupublican extremism was the excuse
  • one Judicial Review into another raid on a squat in Camberwell for which – again – a supposed link to left wing extremism was the excuse given.

The first, and largest, Judicial Review is expected to take two days.

On Monday 28th of May Karon Monaghan QC, representing the arrestees, set out her arguments:
In the morning she set out the framework of other cases involving protest, dissent, and arrests and stated that the police’s actions on the day of the royal wedding demonstrated a ‘self-evident policy which equated the intention to protest with criminal conduct’. She stated that ‘what it [this case] not about it the right to protest being absolute – it is not’ but that on the day of the royal wedding the police acted with an ‘impermissably low threshold of tolerance’ which had the effect of ‘the suppression of a dissenting voice’.

  • ‘The fact that others may take part in criminal conduct does not mean that my clients lose their right to free expression or their assembly rights … an individual assessment must be made.’
  • It was brought up that the state is not merely under a negative obligation to not prevent public protest – it may be under a positive obligation to actively facilitate protest.
  • In all the cases the violence which police claimed they feared would soon breach the peace was violence which coming from provoked monarchists – therefore the police were under a specific obligation to facilitate any intention to protest.
  • Mentioned the ruling of Lord Roger on a breach of the peace case – when Lord Roger concluded that ‘Police must take no more steps than is necessary to prevent it [a breach of the peace]‘ therefore the police – by handcuffing and arresting protestors instead of, say, asking them to go away – acted disproportionately.
  • In the afternoon Karon Monaghan QC went through the individual cases of pre-emptive arrest one by one.
  • None of the officers went through the process or came to the conclusions necessary to affect a legal arrest – they were simply acting on the instructions of their superiors.
  • Police officers aren’t simply employees. Each officer’s authority comes directly from the crown and each officer is individually accountable for their actions – therefore it’s unlawful for an officer to fetter their own discretion.

Coming up on Tuesday 29th:

  • Arguments related to articles 5 and 8 of the European Court of Human Rights
  • The video of the Charing Cross 10′s arrests will be played
  • The barrister acting for the Metropolitan Police will begin.
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Posted on May 29, 2012, in Court Write-Up. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

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