UCL Faculty of Laws


Sarah Everard vigil organisers win High Court challenge against the Metropolitan Police

14 March 2022

Professor Tom Hickman QC was counsel for the claimants in the landmark case, which ruled that the Metropolitan Police had violated the organisers’ human rights.

The exterior of the Royal Courts of Justice

Image: The wubCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons 

On Friday 11 March, the judgment was handed down in the judicial review brought by Reclaim These Streets against the Metropolitan Police’s handling of a proposed vigil in memory of Sarah Everard, and in opposition to violence towards women.

Professor Tom Hickman QC (Blackstone Chambers and Professor of Public Law at UCL Laws) was Counsel for the four claimants, who brought a legal challenge against the Metropolitan Police over its handling of the event.

The High Court found that the Metropolitan Police violated the organisers’ human rights to freedom of speech and freedom to assemble by preventing them from organising the vigil, which would have taken place last March.

Reclaim These Streets intended to organise a vigil in the wake of Sarah Everard’s disappearance, to express their collective grief and to campaign for changes in attitudes and responses to violence against women. The Metropolitan Police threatened the women with fines and prosecution if the event went ahead, which meant the vigil could no longer take place.

The judgement is a landmark victory with significant implications for the right to protest.

Read the full statement from Reclaim These Streets below.

Image: The wub, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons