HL Deb 26 May 2004 vol 661 cc144-5WA
Lord Monson

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether human rights legislation prevents government and local authorities banning or restricting the use of loudhailers in public: what is the nature and scope of such restrictions as may be permitted by the legislation.[HL2840]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal

There is legislation in place to restrict the use of loudhailers in public. Section 62 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 governs the use of loudhailers in the streets, and prohibits their use between 9.00 pm and 8.00 am.

There is also a City of Westminster by-law, which makes it an offence to cause or permit to be made any loud or continuous noise by operating an amplifier or similar instrument, after being warned to desist by a constable.

The Government believe that this legislation is compliant with the right to freedom of expression and assembly under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The right to freedom of expression is not absolute and the rights of others not to be subjected to noisy protests must be taken into account. The legislation finds an appropriate balance between these conflicting rights.

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