The police can continue to use water cannon to break up demonstrations by climate change campaigners on the A12 motorway in The Hague, judges said on Friday.
Campaign group Extinction Rebellion had gone to a fast-track court asking for a ban, arguing that the use of water cannon was excessive and contravened the right to demonstrate.
The court ruled that it is up to the mayor to decide if water cannon can be used in any future protests. However, the court said, “there are limits to that authority”.
For example, the use of water cannon must be proportional and the deployment must fit the purpose: urging those present to leave the location, the court said.
However, although the water cannon had occasionally been used in a way not in line with official policy, there are no grounds for intervention, the court said. “The deployment of the water cannon was in accordance with the law and could be considered appropriate under the circumstances, barring a few incidents.”
In addition, the court said, the use of water cannon could only be banned in advance if there is a major likelihood of the mayor’s intervention being illegal in the future.
XR halted the demonstrations last week after a majority of MPs said they backed plans to phase out tax breaks for companies using large amounts of fossil fuels.
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