High Court rules on badger cull protestor injunction

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By Kath Livingston

In a ruling yesterday on application of the National Farmers’ Union, the High Court granted an interim injunction to restrain the activities of animal rights campaigners planning protests at next week’s government-sanctioned badger cull.

Recognising that there will be differing views on this emotive subject, it is instructive to consider the legal context of the court’s decision.

In the context of emotive issues of moral or ethical significance (the controversial issue of fracking provides another recent example) there are huge difficulties to be had balancing competing rights and interests — the right to conduct one’s lawful business without interference, intimidation or threat of or actual violence together with the right to privacy on the one hand, versus the democratic rights to freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and to engage in peaceful protest on the other…

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