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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 19:10 GMT
Peace protesters
Thousands of protesters gathered in London on 18 November 2001, to demand an end to the war in Afghanistan
Stop the War march in Hyde Park

BBC Radio 4's Law in Action will be broadcast on Friday, 27 February, 2004 at 1600 GMT.

A recent court ruling has been hailed as a "landmark victory" for a party of anti-Iraq war protesters.

Two senior judges held that activists were unlawfully detained by the police when their coaches were stopped on the way to a protest at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

The decision has left the law in a state of confusion
Professor Helen Fenwick, Human Rights Centre, Durham University

The 120 protesters may each be able to claim 3,000 in compensation.

Unlawful

In their judgement, Lord Justice May and Mr Justice Harrison said the police had been entitled to stop the protesters because of fears of a breach of the peace.

But the protesters' two and a half hour detention was an infringement of their human rights. Lord Justice May held:

"there was no immediately apprehended breach of the peace to justify even transitory detention".

Law in Action


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SEE ALSO:
Fairford funds welcomed by police
25 Feb 04  |  Gloucestershire
'How we were kept on coach'
19 Feb 04  |  Gloucestershire
Next week
27 Feb 04  |  Law in Action
Inquests
27 Feb 04  |  Law in Action
International Court of Justice
27 Feb 04  |  Law in Action


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