New Clause 4 - Injunction to prevent serious disruption to effective movement of essential goods or services

Public Order Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:30 pm on 18th October 2022.

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“(1) Upon an application by a person under subsection (4), an injunction may be ordered by a Judge of the High Court against ‘persons unknown’ in order to prevent a serious disruption to the effective movement of any essential goods or any essential services occasioned by a public procession or public assembly.

(2) The “persons unknown” may be—

(a) anonymous persons taking part in a public process or public assembly who are identifiable at the time of the proceedings; and/or

(b) persons not presently taking part in a public procession or public assembly protest but who will in future join such a public procession or public assembly.

(3) The conditions under which such an injunction may be granted are as follows—

(a) there must be a real and imminent risk of a tort being committed which would result in a serious disruption to the effective movement of any essential goods or any essential services;

(b) a method of service must be set out in the order which may reasonably be expected to bring the proceedings to the attention of the “persons unknown”;

(c) the “persons unknown” must be defined in the order by reference to their conduct which is alleged to be unlawful;

(d) the acts prohibited by the order must correspond with the threatened tort;

(e) the order may only prohibit lawful conduct if there is no other proportionate means of protecting the effective movement of essential goods or essential services;

(f) the terms of the order must set out what act(s) the persons potentially affected by the order must not do;

(g) the terms of the order must set out a defined geographical area to which the order relates; and

(h) the terms of the order must set out a temporal period to which the order relates, following which the order will lapse unless a further order is made upon a further application by the applicant.

(4) An applicant for an injunction to prevent serious disruption to effective movement of essential goods or services may be—

(a) a local authority with responsibility for all or part of the geographical area to which the proposed order relates;

(b) a chief constable with responsibility for all or part of the geographical area to which the proposed order relates; or

(c) a person resident in, or carrying on a business within, the geographical area to which the proposed order relates.

(5) A “serious disruption to effective movement of essential goods or services” includes a prolonged disruption to—

(a) the effective movement of the supply of money, food, water, energy or fuel;

(b) a system of communication;

(c) access to a place of worship;

(d) access to a transport facility;

(e) access to an educational institution; and

(f) access to a service relating to health.”—(Sarah Jones.)

Brought up, and read the First time.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time.

Division number 60 Lawfare and Investigative Journalism

Aye: 186 MPs

No: 309 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Abstained: 1 MP

Abstaineds: A-Z by last name

The House divided: Ayes 188, Noes 313.

Question accordingly negatived.

More than three hours having elapsed since the commencement of proceedings on the programme motion, the proceedings were interrupted (Programme Order, this day).

The Deputy Speaker put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that time (Standing Order No. 83E).