Statewatch article: RefNo# 34649
UK: A BAD DAY FOR DEMOCRACY
Statewatch News Online, March 2015
"The Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol), a national civil liberties organisation, has expressed great disappointment to a Supreme Court judgment handed down today which found that the Metropolitan Polices domestic extremist database was lawful....

Netpol, which monitors police conduct and challenges unfair and discriminatory policing, intervened in the case of peace campaigner John Catt which was heard by the Court in December last year. The Metropolitan Police had brought the Supreme Court challenge against a Court of Appeal ruling in March 2013, which found that the gathering and retaining information on Mr Catt was unlawful.

Mr Catt, who is 91 with no criminal history, was known for making sketches at anti-arms trade protests in Brighton called by the Smash EDO campaign.

Speaking today, following the verdict Kevin Blowe, a coordinator for Netpol said: "This ruling allows the police extraordinary discretion to gather personal information of individuals for purposes that are never fully defined. The Supreme Court has accepted that no further justification is apparently required other than investigating the links between protest groups and their organisation and leadership. This Judgment represents judicial approval for the mass surveillance of UK protest movements."


See: Civil liberties campaigners claim Supreme Court judgment gives Police extraordinary discretion to compile database - Campaigners express disappointment after Supreme Court rule that collation of data on 91-year-old campaigner was lawful (link)

See: Court Press release (pdf) and Full-text of judgment (pdf)

And see: Supreme Court grants judicial approval for the mass surveillance of UK protest movements (Netpol, link): "In a press release issued by his solicitors Bhatt Murphy, John Catt has confirmed his intention to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights."


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