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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
Haw protest restrictions unlawful
Brian Haw at Marylebone Magistrates' Court in central London
Mr Haw has been protesting since 2001
Restrictions placed on anti-Iraq war protestor Brian Haw by police over his six-year peace vigil have been ruled unlawful in a High Court judgement.

But Mr Haw was warned by Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips his protest could be severely restricted if he does not reach an agreement with the police.

Met Supt Peter Terry said in a previous hearing that "whenever I do speak to Brian Haw, he stands and shouts at me".

Mr Haw, from Redditch, has held a vigil outside Parliament since 2 June 2001.

Mr Haw won a legal battle in January to remain in place due to a drafting error in a new law banning unauthorised protests in Westminster, but was ordered to restrict his banners and placard display to a three-metre area.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had appealed against the ruling.

Human rights breach

In the latest judgement, Lord Phillips said: "The challenge made on behalf of Mr Haw to the practicality of the conditions imposed may mean that the police will be driven, in the interests of workability, to impose conditions on him that are simpler and more restrictive.

"Mr Haw has chosen for his demonstration a site that is particularly sensitive. He would be well-advised to co-operate with the police in agreeing the conditions of such demonstration."

Lord Phillips, sitting with Mr Justice Griffith Williams, dismissed an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions against a district judge's decision that conditions imposed on Mr Haw were so unclear as to be unworkable and a breach of his human rights.

Mr Haw's peace camp was dismantled by police in May 2006 at a cost to the Metropolitan Police of nearly 27,000 - part of a larger sum of 111,000 the Metropolitan Police had spent on policing the protest last year.

Challenge allowed

The raid came after Mr Haw had been told by officers that the demonstration spot he was permitted to hold had to be within an area 3m wide by 3m high and 1m deep, which officers believed he had breached.

District Judge Quentin Purdy dismissed the charge against the protestor, saying Mr Haw had no case to answer.

But the High Court judges upheld a police appeal that Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair could delegate the making of conditions to more junior officers, such as Supt Terry.

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 puts limits on demonstrations within 1km (about half a mile) of the Houses of Parliament.


SEE ALSO
Protester raid cost police 111k
13 Jul 07 |  London

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