We are delighted that the Court of Appeal agreed with us that Chapter 6 of the Hate Crimes Guidance was a disproportionate breach of Harry’s article 10 rights, and also that the supposed ‘revisions’ to the 2014 Guidance in 2020 did not go nearly far enough to deal with this.
The Court of Appeal clearly stated that the Guidance violated Harry’s rights to freedom of expression.
We look forward to seeing how the Guidance is now re-drafted – and how the police are going to deal with the many thousands of NCHIs on their databases.
Full judgment and summary: Miller -v- The College of Policing | Courts and Tribunals Judiciary
See our Press pages for media coverage of this landmark judgment.
Harry Miller challenges College of Policing over its hate crime guidance following High Court victory against Humberside Police
18 February 2021 – Free speech campaigner Harry Miller is taking his battle against police harassment to the Court of Appeal, which will hear his case on 8th to 10th March.
In February 2020, Miller won a landmark ruling against Humberside Police in the High Court after the force recorded a “non-crime hate incident” (NCHI) against him for tweeting about transgender issues. In his judgement, Mr Justice Knowles said that Miller’s tweets were “not even in the foothills of harassment” and compared Humberside Police’s actions to the Cheka, Stasi and Gestapo.
Knowles however found in favour of the College of Policing, ruling that its Hate Crime Operational Guidance (HCOG) was lawful. Miller is now appealing this element of the judgement on the basis that HCOG is not compatible with existing legislation, including the Equality Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Miller’s High Court battle shone a light on the secretive world of “thought policing” in the UK, in particular the practice of recording NCHIs. Under HCOG, the police are required to record every accusation as a hate incident without the need for investigation. Following the High Court judgement, journalists discovered that over 120,000 NCHIs had been recorded in just five years, yet could not identify a single crime that this had prevented.
Last summer the College of Police reviewed and amended HCOG. Fair Cop, the organisation founded by Miller and others concerned at the chilling effect exerted by the police on free speech, detailed the deficiencies of the new Guidance in November.
“The College of Policing is making up the rules as it goes along, with no regard for — and indeed, in defiance of — the law of the land,” said Harry Miller. “My challenge to the College is simple: respect the law, follow the law, and do not criminalise people for expressing their opinions within the law.
“The existing Guidance should appal anyone who cares about free speech,” continued Miller. “By defining ‘hatred’ to include dislike, resentment and unfriendliness, it makes criminals of a huge swathe of the population who engage in robust, lawful debate. And the public agrees. Although this action has cost me a significant sum of money, I have been supported by thousands of donations to the tune of
Sarah Phillimore crowdsources for judicial review against the College of Policing after local force records gender critical tweets as “non crime hate incident”
9 November 2020 – A barrister is challenging police hate crime guidance in court after her local force recorded her tweets as a “hate incident”, even though there was no evidence that a crime had been committed.
Fair Cop calls for College of Policing to be held accountable for leading police further away from the law
4 November 2020 – New police hate crime guidance is in “defiance of the law” and strengthens the police’s ability to criminalise people for expressing an opinion, analysis by Fair Cop reveals.
Fair Cop highlights widespread institutional capture by trans lobby groups and calls on forces to adopt “Her Majesty’s Rule” on political affiliation
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