Human Rights Essay - Freedom to Protest and Extradition case studies.

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Human Rights Essay No. 2                                                        Student No. 0900091

    The freedom to protest belongs to the family o so-called qualified rights. It means that in case of these rights the court has to balance the infringement of the private right by the state with the public interests such as national security. To reach the compromise in case of qualified right the principle of proportionality has to be used.

  The principle of proportionality is a political maxim which states that no layer of government should take any action that exceeds what is reasonably expected to achieve the desired objective.

  The freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society. It is certainly one of the basic conditions for its progress and development.

The judges of British courts even before the enactment of the Human Rights Act recognised the right to freedom of expression. In one of the cases in High Court Mr Justice Laws (as he then was) said:

‘There is a general principle in our law that the expression of opinion and the conveyance of information will not be restrained by the courts, save on pressing grounds. Freedom of expression is as much a sinew of a common law as it was of the European Convention.’

  Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are the rights protected by the Human Rights Act. The act forbids governments and other public authorities (including police) from violating these rights. Nevertheless there are some limitations on these rights in order to prevent unrest, violence and crime. The limitations are put also to protect the rights and freedoms of others.

Freedom to protest is one of the main freedoms citizens have access to thanks to the Human Rights Act 1998. The articles which are considering the freedom to protest are articles 10 and 11.

  Accordingly to the legislation everyone has got the right to freedom of expression which should include freedom to have opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authorities.

However there is no state with an absolute freedom to protest. As on every right there are some formalities, conditions, restrictions and sometimes penalties prescribed by law in the interest of safety of the democratic society. Freedom to protest is a great responsibility and as such it carries with it duties.

  Nevertheless the only restrictions which can be placed on the exercise of these rights are such as are prescribed by law, and are necessary for the prevention of disorder and crime, and to upkeep the safety of the democratic society.

  In this particular case Alan, the chair person of the organisation NOHELO informed the police about the willingness to organise a protest 20 days before it supposed to take place. He informed about the subject-matter of the protest and the venue where he wanted it to take place.

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  The protesters arrived to the place (bust dual carriageway) at 3 pm and Alan was told by the police that he is running an illegal march. He was told that some conditions have to be complied with if he wants to continue the march. Police informed him that the protesters should move to the quiet lane away from traffic and once they will reach the destination they can only gather there for half an hour in front of the proposed site.

  There are often very good reasons for seeking to prevent demonstration from taking place. Some demonstrations ...

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