Police Law Blog European Decisions Statutory Materials

Policy / administrative instruction to redeploy Commissioner gave rise to no legally enforceable rights or obligations

Not an English case – but those concerned at the time taken for police cases to be resolved may raise an eyebrow at the case of Kupo v Independent State of Papua New Guinea [2020] PGNC 3. A Papua New Guniea Commissioner of Police was appointed on 1 November 2001, removed from post on 12 September 2002 and then removed from the payroll on 12 December 2002. He was still litigating for damages in 2019. Aside from the case failing for being two years out-of-time, the court held that where the decision to redeploy the Commissioner, having the effect of removing him, was the result of a policy or administrative instruction, this gave rise to no legally enforceable rights or obligations.

Pickets, prayers and protests: using anti-social behaviour legislation to curb protest

Two recent cases have required the High Court and Court of Appeal to consider in detail the use by local authorities of different powers contained in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (“ASBCPA”) to limit or prevent protests that have contained a strong religious or moral element. To what extent are the courts prepared to sanction the use of these powers in relation to types of activities that perhaps would not immediately spring to mind when the words ‘anti-social behaviour’ are heard? The answer, in two words, is ‘very prepared’, judging by the decisions in the cases of Dulgerhiu v London Borough of Ealing [2019] EWCA Civ 1490 and Birmingham City Council v Asfar [2019] EWHC 3217 (QB).

The first case concerned a challenge to the imposition by the London Borough of Ealing of a Public Spaces Protection Order. In the second the High Court granted a final anti-social behaviour injunction, sought by Birmingham City Council under section 1 of the 2014 Act. While the cases raise real issues as to the balancing of the Human Rights Act 1998 articles 9, 10 and 11 rights of the ‘protestor’ against those affected by the protests, as will be seen the Courts have had little hesitation in approving or taking action where there was evidence of real harm being caused.

Stalking Protection Act 2019: statutory guidance

Statutory guidance on what police need to do under the Stalking Protection Act 2010, which introduced Stalking Protection Orders.

The Home Office states that this is statutory guidance on how to approach applying for a Stalking Protection Order and that the information may also help those working for other criminal justice agencies, statutory bodies, and non-governmental or voluntary organisations which are associated with victims or people affected by stalking.

The link to the page containing the Guidance is here.

€12,000 for unnecessary and disproportionate police use of Taser (and subsequent failure to investigate this)

In Znakovas v Lithuania [2019] ECHR 820, the European Court of Human Rights held that where police officers used a Taser to subdue an arrested person being taken in a police car to a police station and there was then a subsequent failure to investigate the force used, both matters amounted to a breach of Article 3, justifying damages of €12,000.