Hodge Jones and Allen’s Protest Law Team has been involved in most of the major public order incidents and protests over recent years. The list below shows the range of such cases and the expertise involved. We have taken a proactive and cutting edge approach and we aim to understand any campaign mounted by activists or protestors.
Animal Rights (ongoing) Case arising from the arrest of an individual under s145 SOCA – interfering with contractual relations of an animal research facility. The trial not expected until 2014.
Anti BNP march (ongoing) Case arising out of protests against a BNP march on 1 June 2013. Two individuals have charged and a trial is expected next year.
Anti EDL march (2013) We acted for 47 clients arrested in one the largest mass arrests in recent times. Over 270 people were arrested during a counter demonstration against the English Defence League as the EDL sought to march through Tower Hamlets. The police alleged that our clients had breached conditions imposed on the counter demo. We wrote to the police about the lawfulness of their operation. Subsequently all clients who were arrested solely for this alleged breach have been told that they face no further action and we are considering civil actions.
Occupy Oil (2013) We acted for 3 protestors who had been accused of a number of offences arising from a protest at petrol station. They were acquitted of the more serious charge and given conditional discharges for the remaining charges.
Critical Mass (2012) On the opening night of the Olympics, over 170 people who had been taking part in the monthly “critical mass” were arrested. The police alleged that the cyclists had broken conditions imposed on Critical Mass on that occasion. Those conditions included one that prevented cyclists going north of the River Thames. The Public Order Team at HJA represented a large number of clients, arguing that the conditions themselves were unlawful and that they had not been properly communicated to the cyclists. In the event, all clients represented by HJA were either acquitted or had their cases dropped. HJA also challenged bail conditions that existed that prevented the cyclists from attending any Olympic event.
We are currently acting for a large number of clients in a civil action against the police.
Fortnum and Mason (2010) 145 people were arrested and charged with aggravated trespass, having staged a “sit- in” at the Fortnum and Mason store in central London. The sit-in had been called by UKUNCUT.
Following representations by HJA and other solicitors, the cases against the vast majority of clients were dropped. The CPS continued the case against 30 of those individuals which resulted in 3 separate trials. We represented 8 of the final 30. In the second trial, HJA had one client whose case was dismissed after cross examination of the officer in the case. Using video footage that had not been used in the first two trials, HJA helped to secure acquittals for all defendants in the third and final trial.
UKUNCUT (TOPSHOP) (2011) HJA represented a number of clients who had staged a sit in at Top Shop in 2011 ; The cases were all discontinued after representations.
Occupy London (occupylondon.org.uk) We acted for a number of individuals arrested during the eviction of the Occupy camp at St Pauls. We sought to examine the powers and duties of bailiffs during eviction proceedings. Although convicted, all of our clients received conditional discharges.
JM (2011) JM had been accused of foam-pieing Ruper Murdoch during the Parliamentary Select Committee Hearings. He pleaded guilty to common assault and was sentenced to a prison term at the magistrates’ court. The sentence was reduced on appeal.
Dale Farm (2012) There were a number of arrests and charges during the Dale Farm eviction. We worked proactively with campaigners to highlight the arguments against the eviction as well as concerns about the lawfulness of the Basildon Council/ police operations. Following months of representations, the case was dropped against all activists (save for those who had earlier accepted cautions). One case did proceed to trial as the issue was an offence under s60AA (failure to remove face covering). This case was dismissed after a submission by HJA that there was no case to answer. We are continuing to act for a number of clients in their civil actions against the police for the conditions of their detention.
Colnbrook (2012) We represented a number of clients who were accused of blocking the entrances and exits at the Colnbrook Immigration Detention Centre. We sought to highlight the potentially unlawful deportations that were taking place, as well as the failure for the police to secure video evidence. Having listed the matter for an abuse of process argument and sought to summons a CPS prosecutor who may have made misleading statements to the court, the matter was eventually dropped; all clients are now pursuing civil actions against the police.
Space Hijackers (2010) We represented the “Space Hijackers” (spacehijackers.org) who had been accused of intimating police officers during the G20 protests. They had driven a tank in central London, dressed in obviously fake uniforms. Having collected large amount of defence witnesses and made representations to the CPS, as well as participating in a press campaign to highlight the ridiculous nature of the prosecution, the case was dropped. All clients are taking a civil actions.
SEI (2011) We represented the protestors at the DESI in 2011 – who were accused of breaching conditions imposed on a protest. Having heard legal arguments, the court agreed that the conditions imposed by the police were unlawful and all our clients were acquitted. They received compensation from the police having taken a civil action against them.
Antifacists (2011) HJA represented a number of anti fascists accused of conspiracy to commit violent disorder by planning an attack against neo Nazis after a far right gig in Welling.