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Behind bars | Let them have biscuits

Whether it’s the royal wedding or the Olympics, large public events should be no blank cheque to locking people up in the name of preventing trouble, says Jeannie Mackie

30 July 2012

Preparation for the Olympics hotted up with the handing down of judgment in R (Hicks and Ors) [2012] EWHC 1947 (Admin) which concerned claims of unlawful arrests and searches in the run up to the Royal Wedding in April last year. As the paint dried on the Zhil lanes, as a plague of bunting burst out, and as the athletic Brits stocked up on beer and buns for heavy duty telly training so the way was cleared for pre-emptive arrests and detention for anti-Games protesters.

Hicks was a judicial review brought by four separate groups of claimants, all of whom had been somewhat interfered with either before or on the day of the Royal Wedding. The Hicks group were 15 people who had been arrested for breach of the peace separately in central London on 29 April – the over arching issues in that claim was whether the police operated an unlawful policy of equating intention to protest with intention to cause unlawful disruption...

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