No5 Barristers’ Chambers counsel at centre of landmark ruling

Tue, 03 Dec 2019

Counsel from No5 Barristers’ Chambers represented parents who have been fighting for the right to protest against LGBT equality teaching in a Birmingham primary school.

Ramby de Mello represented Shakeel Afsar, his sister Rosina Afsar and Amir Ahmed who contested the need for an injunction to restrict street protests around Anderton Primary School, in Sparkhill.

Birmingham City Council was granted an order temporarily banning protesters from outside the school's gates in June, over safety fears about repeated large-scale demonstrations. 

The council had also sought the injunction amid concerns that the protestors had misunderstood and misrepresented the school's approach to LGBT issues. The council maintained that court action was in response to campaigners' behaviour, not the issues of the protests.

The campaigners claimed the council was attempting to silence debate.

However, Judge Mr Justice Warby handed down a permanent injunction at the High Court in Birmingham, ruling that the demonstrations against LGBT inclusive education should be permanently banned around Anderton Primary School.

He said the protests had had a significant adverse impact on pupils, teachers and residents.

The protests aimed to stop LGBT relationships education. Allegations included that the school was pursuing ‘a paedophile agenda’ – a claim Mr Justice Warby said was untrue.

However, the evidence did not demonstrate a pressing need to impose restriction on what was said on social media because the allegations concerned a closed group which was limited to parents and others who had subscribed.

To read more about the case, visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-50557227

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