The UK's University of Birmingham has obtained a high court injunction barring occupation-style protests on its campus for the next 12 months.
© unknown

After a number of t occupations and protests against rising tuition fees, University of Birmingham lawyers went to the high court and won an order banning any "occupational protest action" without permission.

"The defendants shall not, without the prior written consent of the claimant, [Birmingham University] enter or remain upon land comprising the claimant's campus and buildings at the University of Birmingham ... for the purpose of any occupational protest action," states the court order.

Calling for the injunction to be abandoned, Liam Burns, the president of the National Union of Students (NUS) said, "The idea that students should seek permission for protest action somewhat misses the point of an occupation.

"The university should immediately drop this injunction and enter into a dialogue with students rather than slapping an injunction across campus for a full year without even consulting their students' union," he added.

Slamming Birmingham University's "shameful" action to deprive students of "their lawful right to protest", Tessa Gregory, a solicitor at Public Interest Lawyers said, "It is deeply concerning that the University of Birmingham have chosen to respond in such a draconian manner to a [previous] peaceful protest."

Moreover, remarking on the issue, a committee member of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC), Ed Bauer said, "Universities are meant to be bastions of free speech and debate and a safe space for all ideas to be raised. The idea that you should ban all protest on campus for 12 months is absolutely ludicrous."

However, a spokesperson for the university, justified the order by referring to evidence, suggesting that further occupations were planned.

"It merely covers the unauthorised occupation of campus or buildings," the spokesperson added.