Austin and Another v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis: QBD 23 Mar 2005

The claimants had variously been attending a demonstration in London, or passing through. The police detained them in a cordon for several hours. They sought damages. No unlawful acts were alleged against them.
Held: There was no deprivation of liberty during the initial period when the cordon was not absolute and people were free to leave by the pavements if they wished to do so. But during the subsequent period no one was free to leave without permission. Once the full cordon was in place there was a deprivation of liberty within the meaning of article 5(1), but that the containment was capable of being justified under article 5(1)(c) as the police reasonably believed that all those present within the cordon, including the appellant, were demonstrators and were about to commit a breach of the peace. He rejected the appellant’s claim at common law for false imprisonment.


Tugendhat J


[2005] EWHC 480 (QB), [2005] HRLR 647, [2005] HRLR 20, [2005] UKHRR 1039, [2005] Po LR 68, [2005] UKHRR 1039




European Convention on Human Rights 5(1)


England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromAustin and Another v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis CA 15-Oct-2007
The claimants appealed dismissal of their claims for false imprisonment and unlawful detention by the respondent in his policing of a demonstration. They had been held within a police cordon in the streets for several hours to prevent the spread of . .
At First InstanceAustin and Another v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis HL 28-Jan-2009
Movement retsriction was not Liberty Deprivation
The claimants had been present during a demonstration policed by the respondent. They appealed against dismissal of their claims for false imprisonment having been prevented from leaving Oxford Circus for over seven hours. The claimants appealed . .
CitedJones and Others v The Commissioner of Police for The Metropolis Admn 6-Nov-2019
Distributed Demonstration not within 1986 Act
The claimants, seeking to demonstrate support for the extinction rebellion movement by demonstrating in London, now challenged an order made under the 1986 Act restricting their right to demonstrate.
Held: The XRAU was not a public assembly at . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Torts – Other, Human Rights

Updated: 06 July 2022; Ref: scu.263171