R (on the application of B) v Greenwich Magistrates’ Court (Defendant) & Metropolitan Police Service (2008) EWHC 2882 (Admin)

B challenged, by way of Judicial Review, the making of an anti-social behavioural order which prevented him from wearing a hooded top within a particular London Borough. He argued that such an order not only limited his freedom of expression and was therefore contrary to his rights under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, but that it was unreasonable being as it had as its purpose not the reduction of anti-social behaviour but purely a restriction on his own personal style. The Court had, prior to making the order, determined that he had a long history of anti- social behaviour, linked to gang membership and that he, along with other members of the gang, wore hooded tops in to hide their identity when intimidating members of the public. In making the order the Court had confirmed that it was necessary in order to reduce “… swagger, menace and the fear of antisocial behaviour.”

The High Court, finding that the order imposed was both necessary and proportionate, accepted the findings of the Magistrates that it was necessary to impose the order in the terms it was made in order to reduce the ‘menace and fear’ imposed by the gangs behaviour. It confirmed that the aim of the order was meet by banning B from wearing a hooded top because it prevented him from hiding his identity and causing fear as part of the gang. The Court highlighted that his ability to cause fear was in a large part bought about by the fact that by hiding his identity in this way he could escape responsibility and punishment for his actions. This added to his confidence to create fear and, as it was this fear that the Magistrates sort to diminish, the order was a lawful intrusion on his rights under article 10 ECHR.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.