On appeal from: [2012] EWHC 1228 (Admin)

The defendants sought to disrupt the activity of a shop in Covent Garden which sells products made in an Israeli settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. They were arrested for aggravated trespass under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, s 68 after protesting in the shop. S 68 criminalises the conduct of a person who (i) trespasses on land, (ii) where there is a person or persons lawfully on the land who is engaged in a lawful activity. The defendants contested the charge on the ground that the shop’s activities were not ‘lawful’ as they involved the commission of criminal offences including: aiding the transfer of Israeli citizens to the West Bank, a territory under belligerent occupation, contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949, art 49; and also various labelling offences due to marking their products as ‘made in Israel’.

The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appeal. An activity is ‘unlawful’ for the purposes of s 68 only if it involves a criminal offence integral to the core activity carried on, not when any criminality is only incidental, collateral to, or remote from the activity. Applying that to the facts of this case, none of the offences alleged by the defendants are integral to the shop’s activities. Even if the manufacturing company’s actions amounted to aiding and abetting the transfer of Israeli citizens to the Occupied Territory, this could not amount to an offence by the company’s retail arm. Regarding the labelling offences the district judge had found that a consumer willing to buy Israeli products would be very unlikely to not buy Israeli products because they were produced in the Occupied Territory.

For judgment, please download: [2014] UKSC 8
For Court’s press summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII