Four defendants were acquitted today at City of London Magistrates’ Court following a finding that the condition they were alleged to have breached during the April Extinction Rebellion protests had been imposed unlawfully. This is the first occasion on which a court has found that the condition imposed upon the April Extinction Rebellion protests was unlawful.
The defendants were charged with failing to comply with a condition imposed by Superintendent McMillan on 15 April 2019 under section 14 of the Public Order Act. This condition was the first of a number imposed by senior officers during the two week long April Rebellion. During this time over 1000 protesters were arrested and subsequently prosecuted for having failed to comply with such an order. The condition in question was imposed at 1855 hours on 15 April 2019 and prevented activists connected to Extinction Rebellion from assembling at Waterloo Bridge.
Today’s decision follows two significant decisions made by the High Court as to the lawfulness of section 14 conditions, also imposed by Superintendent McMillan, in the course of the October 2019 “Autumn Uprising”.
Tim James- Matthews, instructed by Ella Jefferson, Patrick Ormerod and Mike Schwarz of Bindmans LLP, appeared for three of the defendants.