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A description of what will be found in each of the articles featured on this website

1. Legal Guide for Activists (.doc) Updated September 2004 (Version 4)
A comprehensive analysis of all the relevant laws activists in England will come up against and how they apply to people on a practical level. Long but a must read for everyone who wishes to know their rights both whether as an individual or as a protestor. Version 4 contains new laws introduced over the last year. Paper copies are available on request from
2. A Guide to Police Custody (.rtf)
From the moment you are arrested to the moment you are released from the police station, a detailed guide of what you can expect, what your rights are, and how to protect your interests.
3. Interrogation
What you can expect when you interviewd by the police, what you should do and how they try to get you to talk. Remember, always give NO COMMENT interviews. Knowing what to expect makes it far easier to deal with
4. Home Demos (.rtf)
A short guide to the legislation surrounding this very effective tactic.
5. Suing the Police & Making Complaints
It is vital you do not let the police deny you your rights. It only encourages them to continue oppressing legitimate protest. Use these guides to help you put in complaints or sue the police.
6. Police Powers of Arrest (No Warrant)
An introduction to the powers the police have to arrest you while on a demo or in any other situation where you come into contact with them and they do not already have a warrant.
7. Human Rights Act & Suing (.rtf)
Under the Human Rights Act you have greater protection from oppression by the police and the companies backing them. This article introduces you to what has changed and how it benefits legitimate demonstrations.
8. Approached by the Police (.rtf)
What to do if some policemen accost you and try to pressurise you into becoming an informer on their behalf. Again, knowing what to expect will make it far easier to deal with. People who grass deserve to be ostracized and despised.
9. Sending Letters & Emails
The state of the law regarding what is threatening or unlawful to send in a communication such as a letter or email.
10. A Guide to Trial in the Magistrates' Court (.rtf) (.pdf)
A brief guide on what to expect when you are taken to trial in the Magistrates' court, including some comments on conducting your own defence.
11. Malicious Phone Calls (.rtf)
A briefing on whether your phone calls could be considered malicious or not.
12. An activists' perspective on the proposed changes in the Criminal Justice Bill (.rtf)
Plus, a commentary from schNEWS on these changes
13. Comments on Section 14
A commentary on the police use of (and powers under) 'section 14' and 'section 12' to control assemblies and processions.
14. Comments on Entrapment in English law
Some notes on the legal standing of entrapment in the UK and how it can be challenged.
15. Police rights to keep DNA & fingerprints of innocent suspects
A article from the Guardian from March 2003 on this important new ruling.
16. Writing letters
Covering paper, envelopes, computers, printing & photocopying
17. Mobile Phones
A guide to using mobile phones safely and securely.
18. Police Code of Conduct
The standards police are expected to uphold on or off duty.
19. Giving details and carrying ID NEW May 2004
Police powers for demanding your details, when you have the right to say now and the rules about carrying ID/proof of identity.
20. Guide to chosing and defending domain names
Domain names (URLs/Web addresses) are important tools for modern campaigners, but when they include trademark words you could end up loosing them. We present a guide to chosing domain names safely and what to do if you are challenged over ownership of the domain name.
21. Leafleting - A Guide to Your Rights - New Sept 2004
The right to leaflet is a basic and important right of expression, but one that is regularly attacked. Here is a guide to your legal rights when it comes to leaflets, their contents and dealing with attempts to stop you.

Articles from other sources

Below are copies of articles on UK law as it relates to protestors. They are not covered by the freeBeagle Ethical Open Document License, and permission from their copyright holders may be required before distributing them in any way. All other caveats apply. We include them here for your information, as we feel they complement and/or add to the material we have provided; however, we claim no responsibility for their contents or that they are uptodate.

Notes on Obstruction of the Highway ( - external link)
A good briefing by solicitor Andrew Katzen, a partner at Moss & Co, on how this act should be interpreted by protestors and other activists.
Notes on Section 60 provided by the WOMBLES ( (.rtf)
Used by the police to harrass large gatherings of people, but not as powerful as they like to make out.
Activists Legal Project (
Some articles from the Oxford based legal group. See the links page for their contact details
i) A guide to trial in the magistrtes court. (.pdf)
ii) Coping with prison (.pdf) - a modified form for animal rights activists is also available here (.rtf format only)
iii) A guide to possible offenses (last updated 2001) (.pdf)
iv) How to set up a legal support group
Prison and vegans: coping with prison for vegans (.rtf)
An excellent and detailed guide from the Vegan Prison Support Group ( &
A Guide to Public Order Situations ( - external link)
Manchester EF! notes on how the police handle public order situations, what your rights are and some things which you should consider doing.
Forensic Medicine: www.
A good site which looks at the issues surrounding forensic medicine and burden of proof.

All articles on this website are distributed under the Ethical Open Document License v.2

For further details on the Ethical Open Document License (EODL) see

Electrohippies introduction to the EODL icense:

The freeBEAGLES's Ethical Open Documentation License (fBEODL) is available here (/fbeodl.html). Notes on the rights under this policy are here (/rights.html).


This article is for information purposes only; its aim is to let people to know their full rights under UK law. Nothing on these pages is absolute as the law is always changing; if in doubt contact a trusted solicitor for further advice. We do not encourage you to break the law.

Please feel free to copy and distribute these articles to fellow activists, but do not alter the text in any way. These articles are anti-copyright for non-commercial purposes. Please visit for the latest version of our articles and to learn about the freeBEAGLES Ethical Open Document License under which this document is distributed.

If you see any errors, or we have missed any changes to the legal situation please contact us as soon as possible, at, as wrong information can prove costly to people's freedom.

© Copyright freeB.E.A.G.L.E.S.; last updated: September 2004