CAMPACC statements, press releases...


Submission on repeal of SOCPA and alternative restrictions to be put in place

CAMPACC's response to the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill 2009 containing the repeal of the restrictions on protest around Parliament under s132-138 SOCPA. The submission to the Joint Committee on Human Rights gives details of concerns about alternative measures to be put in place.

"We welcome the Government proposal, in part four of the Bill at clause 32, to repeal sections 132-135 of the Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (SOCPA) and make amendments to the Public Order Act (POA) 1986.  We consider that this brings to an end the draconian situation in which protesters can be prosecuted for exercising their legitimate right to protest at the seat of British democracy.  We recognise the acknowledgement that there must be a willingness to accept some disruption during large scale protests and that restrictions should be in place only in order to facilitate access to the Houses of Parliament by members and the public.  We consider that these proposals enhance the protection of the right to freedom of expression and the right to assembly.

"Nonetheless, we have some concerns about the clarity of the proposals to introduce amendments to the POA, in schedule 4 of the bill, and suggest an additional amendment be made to the POA is made to ensure that Chiefs of Police consider whether his/her restrictions on protest around Parliament and beyond impede peaceful protest, no matter its lawful nature."

Read the full submission here