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England and Wales High Court (King's Bench Division) Decisions
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Cite as:  EWHC 3080 (KB)
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KING'S BENCH DIVISION
B e f o r e :
|IN THE MATTER OF|
|NATIONAL HIGHWAYS LIMITED||Claimant|
MR J BRYANT, instructed by Amisu Robshaw (Solicitor), appeared on behalf of the Defendant
7th OCTOBER 2022, 11.59-12.38 (FOR APPROVAL)
Crown Copyright ©
MR JUSTICE COTTER:
"In our democratic society all citizens are equal under the law and all are subject to the law. It is integral to the rule of law, and to the fair and peaceful resolution of disputes, first, that the orders made by the court must be obeyed, unless and until they are set aside or subject to successful challenge on appeal, and, secondly, that a mechanism exists to enforce orders made by the court against those who breach them. In this jurisdiction that mechanism is provided by the law of contempt."
"In a democratic society which recognises the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, protests causing some degree of inconvenience are to be expected and up to a point tolerated. But the words "up to a point" are important. Ordinary members of the public have rights too, including the right to use highways. The public's toleration of peaceful protest depends on the understanding that in a society subject to the rule of law the balance between the protestor's right to protest and the right of members of the public to use the highway is to be determined not by the say-so of protestors, but according to the law, as applied in the circumstances of a particular case by independent and impartial courts."