Police Tactics at G20 were legal after all

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  • Police Tactics at G20 were legal after all
  • Sancho
    Member

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    Looks like the police weren’t operating illegally as some on here seemed to think.

    konabunny
    Member

    Looks like the police weren’t operating illegally as some on here seemed to think.

    It’s not as straightforward as that – it’s a pretty technical decision (as you might expect from the Court of Appeal). I just read it quickly on Bailii and the High Court’s decision was overturned:

    (i) not necessarily because the actions were lawful but because the High Court applied the wrong test in considering whether they were reasonable (i.e. from whose perspective were they reasonable?)

    (ii) because the actions were lawful because they reasonable.

    However, I have to say it made my head hurt a little bit so…

    Sancho
    Member

    well the decision wasn’t overturned because it was unlawful, just I remember the police getting a lot of stick on here about it all and there was a lot of talk of illegal police activities etc, just good to know that they weren’t operating illegally.

    konabunny
    Member

    I would humbly suggest that – while admitting I haven’t got my head around it myself – if a majority of the High Court was persuaded that the actions were illegal, even if the Met won the appeal from that decision, the Met was at least treading on very thin ice.

    Zulu-Eleven
    Member

    Konabunnt – the way I read it was:

    The court, at first instance found that, although the commanding police officer at the scene on the day felt there was an imminent risk of a breach of the peace which would justify the containment, in the opinion of the court, in hindsight, that breach of the peace was not as imminent has the police thought, which made the containment illegal.

    The court of appeal found that this was the incorrenct test, and that the correct test was whether the belief of the police officer in charge on the day that there was an imminent risk of a breach of the peace was a reasonable one for him to come to at the time, based on the information he had at the time – and if this was a reasonable belief, then the containment was lewful.

    I note also that they clearly made the point in the judgement that the other, more violent, demonstration up the road was lawfully contained, and that nobody on either side had challenged this.

    konabunny
    Member

    Z-11: yes – you’ve explained it far better than I did. I read it the same way you did.

    For the sake of pedantry, though, I’d point out that afaics as a matter of law, the Court of Appeal (and the High Court for that matter) did not come to a conclusion about the legality of the treatment of the other demonstration precisely because it wasn’t brought into contention.

    Zulu-Eleven
    Member

    Yeah, on rereading that bit you’re right.

    cynic-al
    Member

    “No smoke without fire”.

    I hope this argument was used in both hearings 😎

    yossarian
    Member

    http://london.indymedia.org/videos/993

    never mind what the legal system thinks, what do YOU think?

    konabunny
    Member

    Yeah, on rereading that bit you’re right.

    Although, obviously, the fact that it wasn’t brought into contention has a pretty clear implication.

    konabunny
    Member

    never mind what the legal system thinks, what do YOU think?

    Yossarian – I was too inattentive to wait for the introductory bits of that video to play but the comments seem to suggest that there was undue violence.

    I think it’s worth pointing out that the decision specifically says:

    From an early stage it has rightly been accepted that judicial review proceedings in this case are appropriate only to the consideration of the strategic decisions. If there are allegations of excessive force or other tortious behaviour against individual, or groups of, police officers, in the course of the operations consequent on those decisions, those allegations must be made in ordinary Queen’s Bench Division actions and their rights or wrongs are not the concern of this case.

    yossarian
    Member

    yeah I read that bit. Is there any more information on where ‘strategic decisions’ end and decisions made by ‘individual, or groups of, police officers’ begin.

    When Bishopsgate was cleared there was a clear decision to use force. I would say that its pretty much impossible to watch the video link and conclude that it was not excessive. Was that a strategic decision or not, only that the little chat between senior coppers at the begining makes it look pretty strategic…

    Sancho
    Member

    Thing is when people dont want to move from the site, then force is needed, and well its not going to be pretty.

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    So, if I understand it correctly this means that with the benefit of hindsight, discussion, careful perusing of legal texts and precedents, and looking at all available evidence and arguments put forward by various learned friends and by using all their legal experience and training the High Court judges have agreed that the police commander’s decision made in a fairly short space of time during an ongoing public order situation was correct.

    Well done that man!

    yossarian
    Member

    High Court judges have agreed that the police commander’s decision made in a fairly short space of time during an ongoing public order situation was correct.

    what? to clear an entirely peaceful and separate protest by using excessive force?

    Hindsight is not a requirement in this case. From the time it happened
    it was clear what was occuring and why.

    Sancho
    Member

    Peaceful?
    maybe I saw a different protest?

    yossarian
    Member

    Sancho my old mate, you might need to check back on the events of that day.

    2 main protests, one is Bishopsgate and one at the Royal Exchange

    Bishopsgate – friendly and good natured
    Royal Exchange – not so nice, Tomlinson was accidentally killed by accident here. Accidentally.

    yossarian
    Member

    bloody hell, is that all you could find in 10 minutes of searching? 😀

    Sancho – try here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_G-20_London_summit_protests#Climate_Camp

    The climate camp at bishopsgate was not part of the other protests. It was set up with dialogue between the police and organisers. The decision to sweep it away was taken by senior officers, without informing the organisers and the level of aggression shown by police officers engaged in the clearance was utterly disporportionate to the behaviour of demonstrators in the climate cmap throughout the day.

    got it now?

    Sancho
    Member

    I take it you didnt read all of that article
    clearly there were elements out for trouble, hence the police response.

    But Im not trying to convince you, you have your view and that’s fine.

    yossarian
    Member

    ha ha 😆

    yeah ok

    Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    hang on.. a mob of folk who think they are above the democratic process go round the capital city creating an atmosphere of hate intimidation and violence.. i pay the coppers to maintain law and ORDER by whatever means they deem suitable and legal.. job done i’d say.

    yossarian
    Member

    Awesome stuff totalshell, are you the new features editor for the daily mail? 😀

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    totalshell – Member

    hang on.. a mob of folk who think they are above the democratic process go round the capital city creating an atmosphere of hate intimidation and violence..

    Oh the ironing.

    konabunny
    Member

    Oh the ironing.

    You couldn’t make it up!

    coffeeking
    Member

    You can’t argue with folks who’ve convinced themselves they’re right, no point posting a thread on STW trying to get people to change their minds – rightly or wrongly most people on here just want to should the loudest.

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