Sussex Police refused provide accreditation to a number of journalists and Labour Party members who were seeking to attend the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, but our team of lawyers worked through the night and over the weekend to successfully overturn the decisions.
As at all party conferences, people who wish to attend must be security checked by the police. Our clients were variously refused because of their involvement in Extinction Rebellion, or being arrested at protests, and in the case of one person due to a prosecution that occurred as a result of a mental health crisis.
The legal rules around police accreditation checks in this scenario was established in the leading case involving the journalist Michael Segalov. Our Ravi Naik and Doughty Street’s Jude Bunting acted for Mr Segalov. (See the case here).
The police are required to follow a fair procedure when considering applications for accreditation, including to provide reasons and the opportunity to make effective representations. Despite the Segalov case only being won last year, Sussex Police completely disregarded their obligations to provide reasons or a chance to make representations.
This weekend Ravi and William Kenyon, with the assistance of Jude, brought two successful urgent out-of-hours applications for judicial review. Sussex Police accepted that they failed to publish a policy and to follow a fair procedure. One of those cases led directly to accreditation being provided, and the other case is being reviewed. We further persuaded the police to provide accreditation in 2 other cases where it had originally been refused and to reconsider their decision in another case.
If you are refused accreditation on the basis of police advice, make sure to contact our Civil Liberties team as soon as possible.
Early coverage of the cases can be found here.