RightsInfo produces series on 50 most important human rights cases

Adam Wagner

The website RightsInfo has produced a series on the 50 most important human rights cases translated into “plain-English short stories”.

Rightsinfo is the brainchild of barrister Adam Wagner, founder of the UK Human Rights Blog.

This week, the series looked at R (on the application of Laporte) (FC) (Original Appellant and Cross-respondent) v. Chief Constable of Gloucestershire (Original Respondent and Cross-appellant) regarding a planned protest at RAF Fairford in the run up to the Iraq war in 2003 which raised, in the words of Lord Bingham, “… important questions on the right of the private citizen to demonstrate against government policy and the powers of the police to curtail exercise of that right.”

In that case the police contained the protest before it had even begun and returned the protestors to London. Ms Laporte claimed she had “been denied the chance to exercise her right to freedom of expression and assembly through protesting”. The Court agreed, saying the ability to protest has to be safeguarded.

The series also looked at Gillan and Quinton v. the United Kingdom, a case heard at the European Court of Human Rights in which the applicants, who were searched for articles that could be used in terrorism as they attempted to attend a protest against arms dealing, alleged that the powers of stop and search used against them by the police breached their rights under articles 5, 8, 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court agreed – the police powers to search were too broad.

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