Guides to the law on free expression and the arts in England and Wales
Child protection is a sensitive area of law and a deserved focus of public concern. The prospect of a police investigation alone will be a matter of substantial press interest, while an actual prosecution, although unlikely in the professional arts sector, would nevertheless result in grave consequences for the gallery and the artist.
Counter-terrorism is a complex and controversial area of the law, not least because the offences are often very widely drafted. The relevant legal definition of terrorism, contained within the Terrorism Act 2000 (and further extended in 2006), is very broad and potentially covers a very wide range of acts beyond those that are widely understood to be “terrorist” in nature.
Public order law is complicated and its application to any particular case will be fact-specific. It should be borne in mind that much of this area of law – in particular breach of the peace – is governed by the common law. Common law, also referred to as case law, is made by judges and developed in the cases that come before the court over time.