Optimal Pathways for Low-Level Public Order Law: Cross-\ud Jurisdictional Perspectives and Comparative Standardizations

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Newman, Christopher
  • Subject: sub_criminallaw

This thesis explores the boundaries of low-level public order law, drawing on\ud optimal pathways and standardizations across the four legal systems of England\ud and Wales, Australia, The United States of America and Germany. The aim is to\ud identify the origins of the public order frameworks, explore limits of proscribed\ud behaviour and to determine whether low-level public order laws satisfy the\ud requirement of certainty within the respective jurisdictions. The requisite mental\ud elements are investigated alongside the range of defences available to those\ud accused of such an offence.\ud In order to fully investigate the unique synergies between protest and low-level\ud public order, the study uses a comparative approach to examine the interaction\ud between the low level provisions and constitutionally guaranteed rights to free\ud expression; including an examination of the conceptual analysis of the wider\ud frameworks within which protest and low-level public order operate. As the source\ud of much contemporary protest, the impact of the War on Terror upon the nexus\ud between public order and protest will also be examined in respect all of the\ud jurisdictions.\ud It is argued that the law relating to low-level public order in all jurisdictions is, to\ud some extent, based around “catch all” provisions that criminalize a broad range of\ud behaviour and also allow the police and the courts a wide range of discretion\ud when dealing with such offences. The various solutions in respect of structure,\ud operation and judicial interpretation of the offences will be examined. This will\ud highlight standardizations and also fundamental disparities between the four\ud jurisdictions.\ud Such a comparative investigation is unique. The study draws upon multiple\ud standardizations to model the lower end of criminality across the four diverse legal\ud systems, providing dynamic areas of contrast through an examination of both civil\ud law and common law solutions to the treatment of low-level disorder. The efficacy\ud of both codified and ad hoc arrangements to regulate disorder while guaranteeing\ud the right to protest are also assessed. The thesis contributes to the understanding\ud of the scope and contours of low-level public order law as well as extrapolating\ud optimal solutions from the findings of this study.
  • References (1)

    Smith A, “Validity and Construction of statute or ordinance prohibiting use of “obscene” language 2 ALR.4th 1331 Smith A T H, Offences against Public Order (Sweet & Maxwell, 1987) Smith A T H, “The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 - the public order elements.” [1995] Crim LR 19 Smith A T H, “Protecting Protest - a constitutional shift. Case comment on R (on the application of Laporte) v C.C. of Gloucestershire [2006] UKHL 55; [2007] 2 AC 105 (HL)” (2007) 66 CLJ 253 Starmer K, “Setting the record straight: human rights in an era of international terrorism” [2007] EHRLR 123 Stone A, “The Limits of Constitutional Text and Structure” (1999) 23 MULR 668 Stone A & Evans S, “Australia: freedom of speech and insult in the High Court of Australia.” 4 (2006) IJCL 677 Suplina N, “Crowd Control: The troubling mix of First Amendment Law, Political Demonstrations and Terrorism.” (2005) 73 Geo Wash L Rev 395

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