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Sentencing in Protest Cases

Speaker: Laura O’Brien
Chambers: Hodge Jones & Allen

Laura is a Partner and Head of the Protest Team. She is a dedicated defence solicitor and Crown Court advocate who thrives on the legal and strategic challenge involved in preparing cases for trial. She fights on behalf of her clients to avoid prosecution wherever possible, whether by challenging the evidential basis of an investigation or prosecution or by challenging a decision that prosecution is in the public interest.

In this presentation, Laura provides a critical update on the mechanics of protest law in the UK which have undergone significant changes recently. She begins with case law, revealing the application of the new landmark changes to the law under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022; outlining the rejection of human rights legislation as a defence in this case. She then discusses the court of appeals response to this case, revealing how sentencing can be determined based on an assessment of of culpability and proportionality. She ends with some useful practical considerations.

Key Words/Topics:

Protest Law
Sentencing
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022
R v Trowland [2023] EWCA Crim 919
DPP v Cuciurean [2022] EWHC 736 (Admin)
Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights
Trespass
Public Nuisance
R v Richard Roberts and others [2018]
DPP v Ziegler [2021] UKSC 23
Preparing for trial