Freedom of protest & assembly

Your right to lawfully protest and assemble is protected by Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

If you believe you have been stopped from lawfully protesting and/or have been arrested following a protest without lawful grounds, contact our human rights solicitors on 0175 321 5096 to find out if you can make a claim. Alternatively please complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly.

 

loading staff

Freedom of protest and assembly - European Convention on Human Rights

The European Convention on Human Rights was incorporated, to a large extent, into UK law as a result of the Human Rights Act 1998. One of the most important protections, was that as governed by Article 10 and 11.

Article 10 is the “freedom of expression”. This right includes the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by a public authority and ‘regardless of frontiers’. The right is subject to some conditions, restrictions and penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of crime or disorder and other matters.

Article 11 is the “freedom of association and assembly”. This right includes the freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others. Again, the right is subject to some conditions, restrictions and penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of crime or disorder and other matters. This right can be restricted by the armed forces or the police.

Importantly, public authorities such as the police have a positive obligation to protect and facilitate the exercise of these rights.

The rights referred to above does not prohibit the police from managing a protest and in some circumstances, using some force to manage what can often be a volatile situation. However, such force must be reasonable as governed by s.3 of the Criminal Law Act 1967 and s.117 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

Unfortunately, recent years have seen the unlawful killing of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests in London.

In addition, the police sometimes go beyond their powers resulting in the arrest of an individual who was protesting in accordance with the law. If you believe you have been arrested, assaulted and/or treated in a way that contravenes your rights as referred to above call our specialist team on 0175 321 5096.

9.3out of 10
5-stars on Trustpilot Based on count 551

We're Great

It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, and you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf.

Our Trustpilot reviews

Mental capacity and the use of the internet and social media

In the recent Court of Protection case of Re: A [2019] 3WLR 59, Cobb J outlines the relevant and irrelevant information for the purposes of deciding whether a person has capacity to make decisions about internet and social media use. The...

Read more

SolicitorsLLP

A brace of wins for Stephensons at the Modern Law Conveyancing Awards

The national law firm, Stephensons, has won a brace of awards at this year’s Modern Law Conveyancing Awards . Stephensons collected awards for Property Team of the Year and Best Use of Technology and was Highly Commended in the Conveyancing...

Read more

Actions against police reorder

  • Mike Pemberton
  • Jessica Saunders
  • Natalie Tolley​