Wise v Dunning: KBD 1902

A protestant preacher in Liverpool was held to be liable to be bound over to keep the peace upon proof that he habitually accompanied his public speeches with behaviour calculated to insult Roman Catholics. His actions had caused, and were liable to cause, breaches of the peace by his opponents and supporters. The court rejected his argument that he could not be held responsible for any breaches of the peace that occurred since an unlawful act could not be regarded as the natural consequence of his insulting or abusive language or conduct.
Alverstone CJ: ‘there must be an act of the defendant, the natural consequence of which, if his act be not unlawful in itself, would be to produce an unlawful act by other persons.’


Lord Alverstone CJ, Darling and Channell JJ


[1902] 1 KB 167


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRedmond-Bate v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 23-Jul-1999
The police had arrested three peaceful but vociferous preachers when some members of a crowd gathered round them threatened hostility.
Held: Freedom of speech means nothing unless it includes the freedom to be irritating, contentious, . .
ApprovedRegina v Nicol and Selvanayagam QBD 10-Nov-1995
The appellants appealed a bind-over for a finding that each appellant had been guilty of conduct whereby a breach of the peace was likely to be occasioned. The appellants, concerned about cruelty to animals, had obstructed an angling competition by . .
CitedLaporte, Regina (on the application of ) v Chief Constable of Gloucestershire HL 13-Dec-2006
The claimants had been in coaches being driven to take part in a demonstration at an air base. The defendant police officers stopped the coaches en route, and, without allowing any number of the claimants to get off, returned the coaches to London. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.221598