Adam Wagner and Pippa Woodrow successful for Reclaim These Streets in landmark protest rights ruling
On Friday at 10.30am judgment was handed down in the judicial review brought by Reclaim These Streets against the Metropolitan Police’s handling of a proposed vigil in memory of Sarah Everard and in opposition to violence against women.
In a landmark victory with far-reaching implications for the right to protest, the High Court found that the Metropolitan Police repeatedly violated the four organisers’ human rights to freedom speech and freedom to assemble by preventing them from organising the vigil, which would have taken place a year ago on Sunday.
Reclaim These Streets sought to organise a vigil in the wake of Sarah Everard’s disappearance, to express their collective grief and to campaign for changes in attitudes and responses to violence against women. Their plans were thwarted by the decisions and actions of the Metropolitan Police, who threatened the women with fines and prosecution if the event went ahead.
Lord Justice Warby and Mr Justice Holgate have today held that those decisions and actions were unlawful, because the police failed to give proper consideration to rights to freedom of expression and assembly, protected under Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Adam Wagner and Pippa Woodrow acted for four founders of Reclaim These Streets. They were led by Tom Hickman QC of Blackstone Chambers and instructed by John Halford and Theodora Middleton of Bindmans LLP.