160 lawyers signed a letter to the Guardian pointing out that the criminal trespass offence (s 144) was introduced on the basis of misinformation. The offence which deals with squatting in a residential building was introduced into the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offences Bill 2012.
An analysis into the use of the law published by the organisation SQUASH (Squatters Action for Secure Homes) found none of the 33 known arrests so far involve the squatters having displaced people from their homes.
David Watkinson says "The anti-squatting criminal trespass law was obtained on false pretences. This is confirmed by recent research. It should now be repealed"
To read the letter in full click here.
Others from Garden Court Chambers who signed the letter include:
Abigail Bache, Dr Timothy Baldwin, John Beckley, Liz Davies, Helen Foot, Owen Greenhall, Sean Horstead, Catrin Lewis, Stephen Marsh, Keir Monteith, Terry Munyard, Michael Paget, David Renton and Marc Willers.