Free expression and protest

Freedom of expression and association are hallmarka of a free society. They allow the exchange of information and ideas, and the expression of viewpoints, that are essential to our democracy.Yet government frequently seeks to restrict these rights for a wide range of reasons, including national security, personal privacy, confidentiality and the prevention of crime.

For many decades, JUSTICE has campaigned to protect freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. In 1965, we published The Law and the Press, arguing for a public interest defence to claims of defamation. In our 1990 report, Freedom of Expression and the Law, we criticised the growing encroachment of the right to free expression under UK law. More recently, we have briefed Parliamentarians against legislation imposing unnecessary restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly, such as the Serious Organised Crime and Policing Act 2005 which banned protest in Parliament Square. More recently, we have argued in favour of overhauling the law of defamation.