Court declares appeal by Code Rood about demonstration against Shell well-founded

Code Red (Code Rood) appealed against the decision that a maximum of 30 people were allowed to demonstrate at Shell’s headquarters on May 19, 2020. The court has now declared the appeal of Code Rood well-founded.

The court considered that limiting all demonstrations to a maximum of thirty people is at odds with the Public Demonstrations Act. According to the court, such a restriction may be permitted in special situations, but it must be well-founded.

The Chairman of the Safety Region had not given sufficient reasons for the initial decision. The mere reference to the Emergency Ordinance in force at the time and an advice from the GGD-GHOR were insufficient. Therefore, the court found the appeal to be well-founded.

The court did uphold the legal consequences of the decision, because during the appeal the Chairman had sufficiently motivated why the restriction in this specific case was in the interest of health and therefore proportional. The court finds it important that the right to demonstrate has not been made impossible and that the restriction to 30 participants is not so far-reaching that it affects the content of the protest.

Code Rood finds it difficult to agree with the opinion of the court to uphold the legal consequences and disagrees with the considerations on which it is based. Those considerations do not seem to be in line with the right to demonstrate. Code Rood will consider an appeal to the Council of State.

The PILP-NJCM is assisting Code Rood in these proceedings, together with mr. J. van Lunen of Van Lunen Advocatuur.