Neuberger MR overturns ruling in G20 kettling case

The Metropolitan Police has won an appeal against a High Court decision that ruled that the controversial kettling tactics used by police officers in two respects during the G20 protests in 2009 was unlawful.

Lord Neuberger
Lord Neuberger

The original case dates back to April 2011 and was won by student Hannah McClure and Josh Moos, a campaigner for Plane Stupid.

Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger, sitting in the Court of Appeal with Lord Justice Hughes and Lord Justice Sullivan, ruled that the High Court decision was flawed.

Overturning the High Court’s previous ruling in Hannah McClure and Joshua Moos v Metropolitan Police, Neuberger MR said that the decision to contain the demonstrators was the least drastic way of preventing what would otherwise be an “imminent and serious breaches of the peace”.

Monica Carss-Frisk QC
Monica Carss-Frisk QC

However, he added that the kettling tactic should only be considered in “extreme and exceptional circumstances”.

This is a victory for Blackstone Chambers’ Monica Carss-Frisk QC, who was instructed by the Metropolitan Police.

Blackstone Chambers’ Michael Fordham QC, instructed by Bindmans partner John Halford, acted for the respondents.

Commenting on the ruling Halford said: “This judgment is very difficult to reconcile with the principle that the law protects peaceful protest and the stark facts of what the police did on 1 April 2009.

“There’s no hint of contrition for the injuries protestors suffered at the hands of many officers involved; instead there is merely the triumph of the known wrongdoer who has unexpectedly evaded censure for their actions.”

It is understood that the Supreme Court will be asked to examine the case.