Mr Justice Holgate has refused an application by the organisers of a vigil for Sarah Everard for the High Court to make “an interim declaration” that any ban on outdoor gatherings under coronavirus regulations is “subject to the right to protest”. In a ruling on Friday, the judge also refused to make a declaration that an alleged policy by the Metropolitan Police of “prohibiting all protests, irrespective of the specific circumstances” is unlawful.
Mr Justice Holgate said it would not be “appropriate for the court” to make the declaration sought.
He ruled that “the requirements of the law have been clearly stated” in previous court rulings, including a challenge to Covid-19 lockdown rules brought by businessman Simon Dolan, which was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in December.
The judge also said: “Given what has happened at the hearing, it may well be that there will be further communication between the claimants and the solicitors they instruct and the police to deal with the application of the regulations and (the rights to freedom of expression and assembly) to this particular event.”
More to follow…