Jones and Lloyd v Director of Public Prosecutions: Admn 23 Jan 1997

The appellants had been peacefully protesting at Stonehenge. They were among others who refused to leave when ordered to do so under an order made by the police officer in charge declaring it to be a trespassory assembly under the 1986 Act. They appealed saying that the assemply had been on a public highway, and that their presence was not a public nuisance. The conviction was quashed at the Crown Court who then stated a case.
Held: The prosecutor’s appeal succeeded. The trespassory assembly law was valid since there is no general right to assemble on a highway. At common law, an assembly on the highway, however peaceable, exceeds the limits of the public’s right of access. Article 11.1 does not create a right of assembly on the public highway, as opposed merely to a toleration of assemblies.


Collins J, McCowan LJ


Gazette 12-Feb-1997, Times 27-Jan-1997, [1997] EWHC Admin 55, [1997] 2 All ER 199




Public Order Act 1986 14B(2), European Convention on Human Rights 11.1


England and Wales


CitedDovaston v Payne CCP 10-Jan-1795
A plea in bar of an avowry for taking cattle damage-feasant, that the cattle escaped from a public highway into the locus in quo, through the defect of fence, must show that they were passing on the highway when they escaped; it is not sufficient to . .
CitedEx parte Lewis (The Trafalgar Square Case) QBD 2-Jul-1888
L sought to assert a right to hold public meetings in Trafalgar Square.
Held: (obiter) There was no public right to occupy Trafalgar Square for the purpose of holding public meetings. The Commissioners of Works and Public Buildings (in whom . .
CitedHirst and Agu v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire QBD 1987
The defendants were arrested after distributing leaflets outside a furriers, and appealed against convictions for obstructing the highway.
Held: The appeals succeeded. In deciding whether there was a lawful excuse for a technical obstruction . .
CitedHubbard v Pitt CA 1976
Protesters handed out leaflets and carried posters outside the plaintiff’s estate agency. He claimed in trespass over the public footpath outside his premises. The defendants appealed the grant of an interlocutory injunction to prevent their . .
CitedNagy v Weston QBD 1965
The defendant was prosecuted after selling hot dogs from a van parked on a busy street in Oxford. The court was asked when such would become an illegal obstruction.
Held: Such a use ‘could not . . be said to be incidental to the right to pass . .
CitedHarrison v Duke of Rutland CA 8-Dec-1893
H used a public highway crossing the defendant’s land, to disrupt grouse-shooting upon the defendant’s land. He complained after he had been forcibly restrained by the defendant’s servants from doing so. The defendant justified his actions saying . .
CitedHickman v Maisey CA 16-Mar-1900
A racing tout used the public highway which crossed the plaintiff’s property to watch racehorses being trained on the plaintiff’s land. On a particular occasion he walked backwards and forwards on a portion of the highway 15 yards long for a period . .
CitedLlandudno Urban District Council v Woods 1899
A clergyman set up a pulpit and was holding services and delivering addresses on the seashore.
Held: An injunction was refused. The court discouraged actions for trespass on public highways where the inteference was trivial. In this case, . .
CitedBurden v Rigler KBD 1911
A meeting held on the highway is not for that reason alone necessarily to be regarded as an unlawful meeting. Lawfulness depends on the facts and circumstances in each case, and in particular whether an obstruction is caused. Such a meeting may be . .
CitedRassemblement Jurassien Unite Jurassienne v Switzerland ECHR 10-Oct-1979
(Commission) The right to freedom of expression is one of the foundations of a democratic society. The subjection of meetings in public thoroughfares to an authorisation procedure did not normally encroach upon the essence of the right. The concern . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromDirector of Public Prosecutions v Jones and Lloyd HL 4-Mar-1999
21 people protested peacefully on the verge of the A344, next to the perimeter fence at Stonehenge. Some carried banners saying ‘Never Again,’ ‘Stonehenge Campaign 10 years of Criminal Injustice’ and ‘Free Stonehenge.’ The officer in charge . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Human Rights

Updated: 23 March 2022; Ref: scu.137000