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  • AQA Component 1, Section The nature and sources of the British Constitution: debates about the extent of rights in the UK

  • Edexcel Component 1, 1.4: Rights in context: debates on the extent, limits and tensions within the UK’s rights-based culture

Background: what you need to know

The article discusses the arrest of anti-monarchy demonstrators on the day of King Charles III’s coronation, using powers granted to the police under the recently passed Public Order Act. This law was originally prompted by concern over the disruptive tactics of climate change protesters such as Just Stop Oil.

Critics, such as the pressure group Liberty, and the Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Ed Davey, have accused the government of an unjustified clampdown on civil liberties. The story raises important issues about the proper powers of government in relation to the exercise of the right to protest.

Click to read the article below and then answer the questions:

Coronation day arrests prompt fears for UK civil liberties

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • ‘Rights are not securely protected in the UK.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement. [25 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 2

  • Evaluate the view that rights are not securely protected in the UK. You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    TIP: The article touches on the right to protest but a successful answer will discuss how far other rights may be at risk today. A few weeks ago, for example, the legality of plans to stop the arrival of cross-Channel migrants aroused controversy: UK faces legal battle over plans to stop cross-Channel migrants

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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