Fair enough

The corporation had said there was an overwhelming case for the court\’s intervention because of the impact on the churchyard of the camp. The limited interference with the protesters\’ rights entailed in the removal of the tents was justified and proportionate, given the rights and freedoms of others, it argued.

There\’s a trade off of rights here, the courts are adjudicating that trade off.

\”The freedoms and rights of others, the interest of public health and public safety and the prevention of disorder and crime, and the need to protect the environment of this part of the City of London all demand the remedy which the court\’s orders will bring,\” said Lindblom in his lengthy judgment. The City had no \”sensible\” choice but to take action.

11 thoughts on “Fair enough”

  1. You don’t understand the mentality of the Occupy movement. In their minds their rights trump all others – because they know and believe that they are on the one and true righteous path.

  2. Once again, it confirms my opinion that the left, loony or otherwise, believe they, and they alone are 1. right and 2. have the right to impose their ideas on the rest of us. They call it democracy.

  3. I don’t understand where there’s a “trade off” of rights.

    They’re on somebody else’s property. If they are asked to leave, they have to leave. Where is the “trade off”?

  4. They are on the church’s property. The church, currently, isn’t asking them to leave. The Corporation, which has some responsibility for the area, has taken the action.

    So there are three sets of rights being traded off here – the rights of the property holder, the rights of the local authority and the (admitted limited) rights of the protestors. Which we’d probably find under Articles 10 & 11 HRA98.

  5. Even weirder. If the church is happy for them to be there, then there’s still no “trade off of rights”. Whose rights are being violated? Not the landowners, apparently.

    So in fact, this is just a court making shit up, apparently, is it not?

  6. No, the Corporation of the City of London has certain rights and responsibilities. I suspect the local council would have something to say if I set up a permanent tent city in my front garden.

    Compare it to, say, Dale Farm – those evicted were the landowners.

    Mr Justice Lindholm is reported (I can’t find a copy of the judgement online yet) to have considered – obstruction to the highway, the rights of worshippers (as opposed to the cathedral authorities), planning considerations and the impact on the wider area.

  7. Surreptitious Evil is right, IIUC.

    There are links to the judgement and summary of the judgement here (apparently):

    From the summary:

    “The highway land in the City’s ownership that is occupied by the camp has been referred to in the proceedings as Area 1; it is divided into two sections a short distance apart. Adjoining that land is a smaller area, which has been referred to as Area 2 and is owned by the Church. Area 1 is part of a much larger area of highway and open land around the cathedral, which has been referred to as Area 3. ”

    The City was allowed to “take possession” of Areas 1 and 3 and as a “local planning authority”, it is “entitled to an injunction to require the removal of the tents located in Areas 1 and 2, and to prevent the further pitching of tents within Areas 1, 2 and 3.”

  8. If people from Tent City are doing something illegal on the Queen’s Highway, arrest them for it.

    There still isn’t a conflict of rights, is there?

  9. Ian B,

    Why do you think an arrest isn’t an infringement of the arrestee’s rights? It is after all a deprivation of liberty. Just because something is an ostensibly lawful act (arresting someone for trespass, say) doesn’t mean it is not an infringement (on the arrestee’s right to protest, say) or found unlawful (because the arrest might not be necessary or proportionate when weighed against their rights).

    Put another way, an arrest is an infringement whether it’s lawful or not. It’s just that the infringement in the particular case might not amount to being unlawful.

  10. Reading the judgement, it appears that the current state of affairs is that the church do want them off their land – those clerics who do not agree having resigned.

    But the majority of the camp is on “public” land (the officially-not-quite-public status of the Corporation probably being irrelevant in terms of HRA questions.)

    There is a defence of “reasonableness” to a charge of “obstructing the highway”. Hence the conflict of rights – it’s (mostly) not private property, therefore HRA is automatically engaged, even before you get to the court’s responsibility to consider HRA rights. It is also worth noting that most “nuisance” actions for obstructing the highway are civil rather than criminal.

  11. As for “the officially-not-quite-public status of the Corporation”, it’s definitely public when it’s carrying out its duties as a public authority, which is what it’s doing here.

    When it’s acting as a public authority, it does so under Act of Parliament, for example the Local Government Act 1963.

    The confusion comes from the fact that it also has some private functions (including administering various legacies that have been left to it over the years).

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