A seven (or so) year hitch: How has the coalition’s pledge to restore the right to non-violent protest fared?

Mead, David (2018) A seven (or so) year hitch: How has the coalition’s pledge to restore the right to non-violent protest fared? King's Law Journal, 29 (2). pp. 242-274. ISSN 0961-5768

[thumbnail of Accepted manuscript]
PDF (Accepted manuscript) - Accepted Version
Download (826kB) | Preview


In the course of the 2010 election campaign, the Liberal Democrats committed themselves to ‘restore the right to protest by reforming the Public Order Act to safeguard non-violent protest even if it offends; and restrict the scope of injunctions issued by vested interests.’ This led, after the formation of the Coalition government in May 2010, to a pledge to ‘restore rights to non-violent protest’. Nearly a decade on, it is time to assess how far that was brought into effect. This article takes a broad sweep across the past eight years, looking at peaceful protest and political participation. It concludes that, with some honourable exceptions, the trend has been a regressive one or at least not a liberalising one. That is probably unsurprising. While there have been some advances at doctrinal level, the practical reality on the streets for those wishing to express their dissent or bring about political/social change is one marked by increasing difficulty. The article is in two main parts. The first, shorter part plots some of the key events in the period. The second is organised around four themes, each illustrating a tension or an area of interplay between protesters and the state: doctrinal developments; policing practice; non-state—that is private—involvement and regulation; and access to civic space.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Human Rights and Public Protest
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Media, Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2018 14:30
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2023 10:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/69299
DOI: 10.1080/09615768.2018.1502062


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item