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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Optimal Pathways for Low-Level Public Order Law: Cross- Jurisdictional Perspectives and Comparative Standardizations

Newman, Christopher (2011) Optimal Pathways for Low-Level Public Order Law: Cross- Jurisdictional Perspectives and Comparative Standardizations. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)


This thesis explores the boundaries of low-level public order law, drawing on
optimal pathways and standardizations across the four legal systems of England
and Wales, Australia, The United States of America and Germany. The aim is to
identify the origins of the public order frameworks, explore limits of proscribed
behaviour and to determine whether low-level public order laws satisfy the
requirement of certainty within the respective jurisdictions. The requisite mental
elements are investigated alongside the range of defences available to those
accused of such an offence.
In order to fully investigate the unique synergies between protest and low-level
public order, the study uses a comparative approach to examine the interaction
between the low level provisions and constitutionally guaranteed rights to free
expression; including an examination of the conceptual analysis of the wider
frameworks within which protest and low-level public order operate. As the source
of much contemporary protest, the impact of the War on Terror upon the nexus
between public order and protest will also be examined in respect all of the
It is argued that the law relating to low-level public order in all jurisdictions is, to
some extent, based around “catch all” provisions that criminalize a broad range of
behaviour and also allow the police and the courts a wide range of discretion
when dealing with such offences. The various solutions in respect of structure,
operation and judicial interpretation of the offences will be examined. This will
highlight standardizations and also fundamental disparities between the four
Such a comparative investigation is unique. The study draws upon multiple
standardizations to model the lower end of criminality across the four diverse legal
systems, providing dynamic areas of contrast through an examination of both civil
law and common law solutions to the treatment of low-level disorder. The efficacy
of both codified and ad hoc arrangements to regulate disorder while guaranteeing
the right to protest are also assessed. The thesis contributes to the understanding
of the scope and contours of low-level public order law as well as extrapolating
optimal solutions from the findings of this study.

Complete_Thesis_Newman.pdf - Accepted Version

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Depositing User: Barry Hall


Item ID: 3792

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Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2013 11:49
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 13:32


Author: Christopher Newman

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Law > Criminal Law

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