The Government response to covid-19: freedom of assembly and the right to protest



1 Introduction

2 Protest during the pandemic

Black Lives Matter

‘Defending memorials’


Reclaim These Streets

3 The right to protest—Articles 10 and 11 ECHR

Lawful interferences with the right to protest

4 The law governing protest during the pandemic

The First Lockdown

Permitting some protest

Explicit recognition of protest

The November national lockdown

Return to permitting protest

Tier 4 and the third national lockdown

Has protest ever been illegal?

Confirmation that protest is not banned

Reasonable excuse

Legality of protest—other factors contributing to confusion

Government communications

Further ambiguities in the law

5 Impact on the police and public

Impact on the police

Impact on the public

6 Conclusions and the way forward

Conclusions and recommendations

Annex: Proposed amendments to legislation

Declaration of Interests

Formal minutes


List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament

Published: 19 March 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement