Obstruction of the Highway - Guilty: 13/12/19

Court date



City of London Magistrates' Court

Hearing date:


Friday 13th December 2019

Bench (DJ or JPs)



Charged with:


Obstruction of the Highway (25th April 2019)

Represented by:



Please outline key points in prosecution and defence cases.




The prosecution relied upon the authority of DPP v Ziegler [2019] EWHC 71 which provides that the proportionality of limitation of protest rights must be considered. The officer accepted the rights were interfered with, however stated that the Highways Act allows for this when protecting the rights of others; in this instance, the rights of the people to go about their daily lives needed to be guarded.


The prosecution case also submitted that there were no other less restrictive means available when removing Defendant 1, and the disruption was at a level so severe that the police had to stand. She had shown no sign of intending to stop, thus the obstruction would have continued indefinitely had she not been moved.



The obstruction of the highway was reasonable.


Defendant 1 relied on her rights contained in sections 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998. She argued that the Officer asking her to move herself from the carriageway was not a proportionate limitation of her rights, as the 'greater evil' of climate change made it necessary for her to obstruct the highway.


She also relied on the authority of the case Schmidberger v Austria             (2003) C-112/00, where a 30 hour blockade was deemed proportionate due to the gravity of a catastrophe. She compared this to her own 7 minute blockade of Fleet Street and again invoked the argument of proportionality and reasonable response to the threat of climate change.


Both points were dismissed due to the level of disruption caused.


Was defence evidence submitted in writing?






Did defence witness(es) give evidence in person? Were they cross-examined?


No defence witnesses

What was the verdict?



What was the sentence?


9 Month Conditional Discharge

What costs were awarded?


£200 cost + £25 victim surcharge