University extends animal rights protest ban

Last updated at 12:47 26 May 2006

Oxford University won an extension of its existing injunction against animal rights activists today.

Mr Justice Holland's ruling was the latest round in the battle over the new £20million biomedical research laboratory site in South Parks Road.

The original injunction allowed a demonstration opposite the site each Thursday afternoon, but otherwise banned all protest activities, including the use of amplified noise or cameras, within a designated exclusion zone.

The university said an extension of the zone was necessary to protect staff, students and building contractors from intimidation and harassment and asked for a tightening of the strictures governing the use of a megaphone.

The judge, sitting at London's High Court, agreed that the present exclusion zone was too small and should be "moderately" increased in size.

He also banned the use of a megaphone during the weekly demonstration on Thursday.

The judge said the actual or threatened activities of extremists constituted a "serious ongoing problem" for the university.

The scope for curtailment by way of any order was modest as the area was one for the police and particularly those concerned with serious organised crime.

He said the case should return to court for reconsideration from time to time "in the light of experience and future developments".

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