Disproportionate penalties

Ms Walmsley highlights that under this proposed bill penalties are disproportionate. She notes that companies who pollute the environment face lower penalties than an individual who engages in "aggravated" protest under this bill.

Discussion moves to the implied right of political communication.

Ms Wright reiterates that the disproportionate penalties will have a "chilling effect" on the implied right of political communication. She suggests the Bill would need to be updated to enshrine the right of political communication for it to be considered.

The Committee notes that the right to protest and the implied right to political communication are different concepts.

Ms Wright notes that the Council for Civil Liberties has not seen any examples of protests that have been a threat to public safety that would now be prosecuted under the Bill. 

Ms Walmsley adds that this Bill is far too broad and vague to protect protesters and the implied right of political communication.

Discussion returns to the issue of "incitement".

Ms Walmsley notes that this Bill disproportionately affects those who support activism, criminalising public support in a similar way to physically taking part in a trespass action.