Freedom of Speech & Assembly | Hodge Jones & Allen
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Civil Liberties & Human Rights

Freedom of Speech & Assembly

Susie Labinjoh
Alice Hardy
Jocelyn Cockburn
Nancy Collins
Sasha Barton

Protesting against unjust, illegitimate or illegal activities is a fundamental part of democracy.

Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors is a leading law firm in the UK. We specialise in representing the right to protest  Our passionate and committed team of solicitors – which works closely with our renowned Public Order/Criminal law team – have extensive experience in bringing and winning difficult, controversial and high profile cases. We’re dedicated to defending the right to protest against injustice.

This right to free speech is protected in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which is brought into English law by the Human Rights Act 1998. The right to freedom of assembly (or freedom of association) is contained in Article 11 ECHR.

Experienced freedom of speech & assembly solicitors

We’ve used human rights law to defend the rights of protestors in high-profile cases. This includes the G20 protests, UK Uncut protests, Critical Mass events, anti-fascist marches, traveller site evictions (Dale Farm) arms fairs and TUC events.

We’ve received compensation for protestors who’ve been injured or mistreated during protests. We have successfully acted for clients in disciplinary actions against the police, securing apologies and changes to police practice.

All our expert lawyers are active members of the Police Action Lawyers Group. This represents solicitors specialising in complaints against the police.


Your next steps

Contact our legal experts today. All communications will be treated in confidence, even where you don’t become our client. If we can take on your case, we will give you full details about costs, including advising you on the availability of legal aid and Conditional Fee Agreement, also known as “no win, no fee”.

If you want us to investigate a claim for you, it’s important you don’t delay and you contact us as soon as possible. The law requires that cases are started at court within specific timescales.

Most civil claims for compensation (for a breach of human rights) must be issued at court within one year. We must ensure evidence is collected and the case is properly prepared. The sooner you contact us, the better. If you think you might be out of time, don’t let this stop you from calling us – we will advise you if this is a problem, and if we can take your case on, we will fight to get your claim heard even if the breach took place a long time ago.

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Featured cases

  • Our client was carrying a T-shirt with the question “Are the Royal Family better than yours?” whilst walking through Soho on the day of a royal celebration. He was stopped and searched without proper explanation, before being handcuffed and arrested for breach of the peace. He was then detained in a police cell and was eventually released without charge. After we represented him in a civil claim, the Metropolitan Police agreed to settle his case, apologised to him and supported his application for the deletion of his data from the police national computer.
  • Under an Article 3 claim for degrading treatment, we secured compensation for a group of protestors arrested at the Dale Farm traveller site. The protestors were left handcuffed in a prison van for five hours without access to toilet facilities and were forced to urinate in the van in view of others.
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