Greens MP David Shoebridge cleared of protest charges outside Kirribilli House
O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors successfully defended charges against Greens MP David Shoebridge after a protest last year.
Working alongside Barrister Ian Latham, Solicitor Wilson Tighe represented the MP at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney’s CBD last Friday.
Mr Shoebridge and two other climate protesters were arrested outside Kirribilli House, on Sydney’s North Shore. They were calling for the Prime Minister to return from his holiday in Hawaii to address the bushfires burning across the country. Bodycam footage of the protest played to the Court displayed chanting and speeches, followed by the arrest of six protestors.
The Greens MP was charged with failing to comply with a police direction. However, Magistrate Erin Kennedy found that David was arrested very quickly after the move-on direction was given and that he did not say “no” to the order.
Magistrate founds the order I was given was lawful, but recognises that I did comply with the order. The charge against me has been dismissed.
— David Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeMLC) August 28, 2020
Barrister Latham: the balance between freedom and State powers
“We all live in a society that values freedom from unlawful arrest in the freedom from arbitrary detention,” Barrister Latham stated in his closing submissions.
“It is essential to a society that is ruled by law that the powers that infringe these freedoms are exercised lawfully,” Mr Latham continued.
In her judgement, Magistrate Kennedy noted that Mr Shoebridge stated “I’m complying” directly before his arrest.
Barrister Ian Latham stated that Mr Shoebridge “probably is an agitator” but that “people are entitled to be agitators.”
Mr Latham quoted from Neal v. The Queen (1982) in his submissions:
“If he is an agitator, he is in good company. Many of the great religious and political figures of history have been agitators, and human progress owes much to the efforts of these and the many who are unknown.”
However, in a costs hearing yesterday, Magistrate Kennedy denied the application asking the NSW Police to cover the legal costs of Mr Shoebridge.
If police arrested you at a protest, seek legal advice. Contact O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors on (02) 9261 4281 or for a free initial consultation.