Summary Offences revistied

An email on the Critical Mass Sydney email list brought a court case involving the NSW Summary Offences Act to my attention. My last clash with this insidious piece of legislation was when organising a protest against the Internet censorship legislation for EFA.

On that occasion, the coppers initially refused our protest because it was at lunch time and involved a march which would cause disruption to traffic. I now see why they backed down so quickly, with this lovely quote from the judge:

It is in the very nature of the entitlement to peaceful protest that disruption will be caused to others.

I'd recommend the case to anyone planning protests in NSW. It basically says that the police have very very limited rights to oppose any protest that has been correctly notified to the Police.

And this choice nugget:

I order the Commissioner to pay the defendant's costs.

Lovely.