Handcuffed times two. A case of wrongful arrest?

The Belfast Telegraph reports that two men were arrested during a Republican Network for Unity (Cogus) protest at Alliance Party HQ yesterday.

Two members of Republican Network for Unity (RNU) walked into the building on University Street at 9am yesterday and demanded a meeting with Justice Minister and Alliance Party leader David Ford.

They note the men were arrested by the PSNI due to behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace.

This common law concept has been clarified by the Court of Appeal:

 an act done or threatened to be done which either actually harms a person, or in his presence, his property, or is likely to cause such harm being done

That definition was accepted as sufficient in European Law following a EHRR:

 the concept of breach of the peace has been clarified by the English courts over the last two decades, to the extent that it is now sufficiently established that a breach of the peace is committed only when an individual causes harm, or appears likely to cause harm, to persons or property, or acts in a manner the natural consequence of which would be to provoke violence in others.

However, given the two men had placed themselves in handcuffs before the police arrived and therefore were arguably incaple of harming people or property,  it will be interesting to see if the PSNI actually end up defending themselves in a case of wrongful arrest.

 They handcuffed themselves to the furniture and refused to leave


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