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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 April 2006, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Uni fails to extend protest ban
Protest march in Oxford
The laboratory complex has been the scene of angry protests
Oxford University has failed in its bid to extend its injunction against animal rights activists to the entire city.

The current injunction bans all protest activities including the use of amplified noise or cameras around the South Parks Road animal research lab.

Oxford's QC, Charles Flint, argued that the extension of the exclusion zone was necessary as university premises were spread out throughout the city.

But Mr Justice Holland said that such a ruling would be "irresponsible".

The university does not wish to prevent legitimate protest or the freedom to express opinions
Oxford University

The judge, sitting at London's High Court, said: "I am wholly unwilling to get involved in these issues without being advised as to the views of the relevant senior officer of the Thames Valley Police.

"It would be irresponsible of me to get involved without understanding what the position of the police is."

A spokeswoman from Oxford University said: "We will be returning to the High Court on 18 May, when the university will ask the court to give further consideration to an additional extension to the exclusion zone and restriction on the use of megaphones or other noise amplification more widely in the city of Oxford.

"The university does not wish to prevent legitimate protest or the freedom to express opinions.

"However, it is vital we protect the rights of members of the university to go about their lawful activities free from threats and intimidation."

The court did impose a ban on protests within 100 yards (91m) of the Examination Schools on the High Street or of Ewert House in Summertown, Oxford, while examinations are under way.

The 20m research laboratory has been the focus of an animal rights campaign since 2004 over the housing and testing of animals.

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