Right to Protest

The freedom to protest is the life blood of our democracy, yet the rights of demonstrators have been threatened by government legislation and police tactics, such as kettling. ITN solicitors are recognised by activists and legal directories alike as experts who can robustly defend you in a criminal court and fearlessly assert your rights in the civil courts or through the complaints system.

At ITN, we are committed to defending the right to protest.  We have expert lawyers who can robustly defend you in a criminal court and fearlessly assert your rights in the civil courts or through the complaints system.

We have extensive experience and expertise in acting for protestors who have been arrested whilst demonstrating. Often, this comes down to an analysis of police powers and this in turn requires a detailed understanding of statute and the common law. For example, when can the Police detain a protestor to prevent a breach of the peace? When can they rely on statutory powers to prevent a demonstration from taking place and what can they do when protestors refuse to comply with their orders?

We can advise you if you are planning a demonstration or protest. If the police have tried to limit or ban your protest, we can make representations and may even be able to challenge the decision in Court on your behalf.

We work closely with groups campaigning on the right to protest and that provide practical support to protesters going through the criminal justice system.

Our lawyers have experience in defending a range of offences from obstruction of the highway to violent disorder and aggravated trespass. We have represented defendants arrested at anti-war protests, the student protests, a series of anti-fascist counter protests as well as activists arrested after taking direct action.

Lawyers in our Actions Against the Police Department have a track record of obtaining apologies from Chief Constables, compensation for clients whose right to protest has been violated or who have been wrongly arrested or assaulted whilst demonstrating, and the removal of data from police systems.  We have also been successful in having officers disciplined for their misconduct.


Amongst a number of other cases we are currently representing a large number of protesters suing the police for unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and assault following a series of “mass arrests”, including the 286 antifascist protesters arrested at an anti-EDL protest in Tower Hamlets in 2013, as well as anti-arms trade and anti-fracking campaigners. 

The NETPOL Solicitor’s List rates our criminal defence and civil action teams as “highly recommended”, and “particularly good at defending anti-fascists”.

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