Tom Wainwright and Owen Greenhall, of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Law Team, are co-authors of The Protest Handbook (2nd Ed.). Order here.
'We need to get angry, and transform that anger into action' - Greta Thunberg
Extinction Rebellion, Brexit, Trump. A cocktail of political, social and environmental factors has once again brought the right to protest to the fore. More and more people are taking to the streets for the first time and hundreds are finding themselves under arrest or in the unfamiliar surroundings of the courtroom. Following drastic cuts to legal aid, many find themselves without legal representation and are forced to navigate the bewildering court system alone. Even when legal assistance is available, most solicitors and barristers do not have the specialist knowledge and experience required to fully and fearlessly defend these cases.
Guiding practitioners through the process from beginning to end, the book is presented in six clear chapters that relate to each stage of a potential case. The chapters include practical assistance in line with protesters' experience of attending demonstrations, the chronological structure of a case, relevant areas of substantive law in sections that cover groups of similar offences, the topical issue of the law relating to occupations and remedies available where protesters' rights have been infringed.
The second edition has been updated to include:
- Developments in case law including the impact of Article 10 in criminal trials and the availability of the defence of necessity;
- How the trends in protests and policing have changed – occupations and kettling are not as common as they were, direct action and injunctions have increased;
- The growth of social media which has led to more digital protests and the development of 'hacktivism'.
The Foreword is by Caroline Lucas MP:
‘…a book like this that sets out the law relevant to protest is essential for campaigners and activists. But it’s not just a guide to legal rights when protesting, it’s also a handbook for the defence of civil disobedience and non-violent direct action in our democracy. That makes it essential reading for us all.’