Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Encouraging News

A 15-year-old boy has won a landmark High Court challenge to the legality of child curfew zones used to tackle anti-social behaviour.
The teenager said the use of dispersal zones in Richmond, south-west London, breached his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Unaccompanied under-16s found in zones after 9pm can be held and escorted home, whether badly behaved or not.
The police and Richmond Council argued that it reduced anti-social behaviour.
The High Court ruled that the law did not give the police a power of arrest, and officers could not force someone to come with them.

Lord Justice Brooke said: "... All of us have the right to walk the streets without interference from police constables or CSOs unless they possess common law or statutory powers to stop us.
"If Parliament considered that such a power was needed, it should have said so, and identified the circumstances in which it intended t
he power to be exercised."

(from BBC News)

This is a poke in the eye for the authoritarians in the Home Office, and it is truly heartening to see one of our most senior judges standing up for the citizen's ancient rights.

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