Call out for Legal Observers to participate in research into their treatment by the police

A legal observer stands, alone in an orange high visibility tabard, facing a long line of police officers in yellow high visibility jackets and uniforms.

PHOTO: Keith Gentry / Shutterstock.com

Have you got experience as an independent Legal Observer monitoring the policing of protests or assemblies in Britain over the last five years?

The Article 11 Trust is working with the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol)  to research the treatment of Legal Observer (LOs) by the police at protests and the role LOs play in protecting the Article 11 rights of protestors. This research is undertaken with the assistance of Green and Black Cross’ collectives and Black Protest Legal Support (BPLS).

We will use your stories and testimony to try to understand how the way LOs are treated has changed – and what impact coronavirus restrictions since March 2020 have had. We want to see whether, in your experience, the police are more or less aware of the role of LOs and how tolerant you think the police are of the presence of LOs at protests.

We are particularly interesting in finding out more about the disparities in police treatment based on class, race and gender, or the nature of the protest or assembly that is being policed.

We aim to build a coherent picture of how LOs are treated and whether their experiences affects their decision to continue legal observing.

We are also intending to ask a selection of police forces to confirm their understanding of what role LOs play at protests and compare this with the experiences of LOs on the ground.

We recognise that responses may contain potentially sensitive information, so all contributions will be anonymised unless you consent to your name being included.

Your contact details will never be passed on, and they will be deleted following completion of the project. All participants have the right to withdraw at any time and request deletion of all data relating to them. All data will be stored securely on an encrypted drive. This project will be undertaken by the Article 11 Trust’s newly appointed Research Fellow.

If you are interested in contributing to this important research, please get in touch by email at rachel.currie@article11trust.org.uk.