A “Cardinal Democratic Freedom”: High Court rules police’s action “Orwellian” in a victory for freedom of expression

21 Feb 2020 By Imogen Proud

The Queen on the application of Harry Miller v (1) The College of Policing and (2) The Chief Constable of Humberside

Ian Wise QC acted for Mr Miller throughout the proceedings, instructed by Sinclairslaw. Michael Armitage assisted Ian in preparing the detailed legal submissions for the hearing.


On 14 February 2020, the High Court (Mr Justice Julian Knowles) held that Humberside Police had disproportionately interfered with the rights of free speech of the Claimant, Harry Miller, under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”).
Mr Miller had posted a number of tweets which a member of the public had complained were “transphobic”. Humberside Police recorded this as a “non-crime hate incident” and warned Mr Miller that he may face criminal prosecution if he continued to post similar tweets. The High Court, in an emphatic defence of freedom of expression in a democracy, ruled that the Claimant’s tweets formed part of a legitimate public debate about proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

Please click here to read the case note.

The comments made in this case note are wholly personal and do not reflect the views of any other members of Monckton Chambers, its tenants or clients.