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Protest Law: Section 12 and Section 14 Public Order Act 1986

Speaker: Maria Liddiard
Chambers: One Pump Court

Maria is regularly instructed in specialist protest cases in both the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts. She has represented individuals from protest groups including Just Stop Oil, Extinction Rebellion, Insulate Britain, Palestine Action and Animal Rebellion. She has particular experience with those charged with Obstructing the Highway, Aggravated Trespass, Criminal Damage, Public Order offences, Public Nuisance, and Conspiracy offences.

Here Maria provides an update on the mechanics of legislation impacting protests, which have changed significantly in recent years most notably through the controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. She describes the new police powers afforded by this legislative change, before sharing advice on various lines of defence that can be used when working with clients being prosecuted under these new powers.

Key words/topics:

Sections 12 and 14 of the 1986 Public Order Act.
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022
Public order policing
Protest
Political demonstrations
Zieglar Proportionality
DPP v Ziegler [2019] EWHC 71 (Admin)
Director of Public Prosecutions v Eastburn [2023] EWHC 1063 (Admin).
Police evidence
Justification defences