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Public Processions

Parades

Section 11

Commonly held/customary processions, or funeral processions, whether they routinely follow the same route or a different route each time, are exempt from the requirement for notice.

There is no legal basis for describing a public protest as inherently unlawful. Neither the Public Order Act nor the law on obstruction of the highway renders a protest unlawful.

A breach of the notification requirement in s 11 of the Public Order Act 1986 does not render a protest unlawful under the Act or mean that an otherwise peaceful procession falls outside the protection of ECHR Article 11. See Human Rights Act 1998. The section applies only to public processions and not to other assemblies. It does not make criminal the participation in such a procession. By failing to meet the notification requirements, only the organisers commit an offence.

The obstruction of a highway does not render a public assembly unlawful. Many activities obstruct the highway or cause disruption to traffic. Only unreasonable obstructions of the highway are unlawful.