- Created by: channyx
- Created on: 20-03-20 21:06
The police had not acted lawfully in preventing coach passengers reaching the site of a demonstration because it could not be concluded that a breach of the peace was "imminent" at the time the coaches were stopped. The action was an interference with the protesters' rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 Sch.1 Part I Art.10 and Sch.1 Part I Art.11 and was disproportionate. The appellant (L) appealed against a decision that the respondent chief constable had acted lawfully in preventing coach passengers, of which she was one, from reaching the site of a demonstration. The chief constable cross-appealed against the decision that he had acted unlawfully in escorting the coaches away from the site and back to London.
L had been in one of three coaches taking passengers from London to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire in order to join an anti-war demonstration. The police, believing that the protesters were members of a hard-core anarchist group, stopped the coaches and searched them. It was found that only eight of the 120 passengers were members of the anarchist group.
The chief superintendent (X) had concluded that a breach of the peace was not, at that time, imminent, but decided to send the coaches back to London with a police escort in order to prevent a breach of the peace occurring at RAF Fairford when the passengers disembarked. The Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal held that the police had acted lawfully in preventing the coaches from reaching RAF Fairford on the basis that a breach of the peace was likely to occur there, but had acted unlawfully in forcibly returning the coaches to London.
L submitted that the chief constable had interfered with her rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 Sch.1 Part I Art.10 and Sch.1 Part I Art.11, and that while the interference was for a…