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England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions >> Leigh & Ors v Commissioner of The Police of The Metropolis & Anor  EWHC 661 (Admin) (12 March 2021)
Cite as:  EWHC 661 (Admin)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Royal Courts of Justice
B e f o r e :
|(1) JESSICA LEIGH|
|(2) ANNA BIRLEY|
|(3) HENNA SHAH|
|(4) JAMIE KLINGLER||Claimants|
|- and -|
|THE COMMISSIONER OF THE POLICE OF THE METROPOLIS||Defendant|
|- and -|
|THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE||Interested Party|
Mr G. THOMAS (instructed by Directorate of Legal Services, Metropolitan Police Service) appeared on behalf of the Defendant.
Mr Y. VANDERMAN (instructed by Government Legal Department) appeared on behalf of the Interested Party
Crown Copyright ©
This Transcript is Crown Copyright. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part other than in accordance with relevant licence or with the express consent of the Authority. All rights are reserved.
MR JUSTICE HOLGATE:
"Under national lockdown regulations, gatherings for the purposes of protest are not exempt, and therefore the police in response will need to respond to this, in what is a rapidly deteriorating position with a virus variant that will transmit much more easily. This means there are more risks associated with large groups, both to the groups themselves, communities and officers dealing. There is a clear need to enforcement action to deal with any large groups."
"(a) Schedule 3A to the All Tiers Regulations 2020 insofar as it prohibits outdoor gatherings, is subject to the right to protest protected by the Human Rights Act 1998;
(b) the Metropolitan Police Service's policy prohibiting all protests irrespective of the specific circumstances is, accordingly, erroneous in law;
(c) persons who are exercising their right to protest in a reasonable manner will have a reasonable excuse for gathering under that schedule."