Legal Observer Workshop

Legal Observers are an essential part of the support we provide at protests. Whether they’re handing out key advice on bust cards, or finding witnesses for arrests, legal observers help to ensure that people protesting don’t face the legal system alone.

You can read more about what a legal observer is in this guide.

» Find out about and sign up for upcoming workshops

You’ll often see legal observers at demonstrations wearing bright orange bibs marked “Legal Observer”. Despite having no official status, legal observers have a role recognised by bodies from the Courts to the United Nations.

Our standard Legal Observer training is very comprehensive, covering:

  • What an LO is
  • How to observe and make notes
  • Different types of actions you may encounter
  • How to observe and support someone being arrested

Our trainings are suitable for people in England and Wales.

Please note – you must have attended a Know Your Rights training before training to become an LO.

Once you have been trained, you will be expected to volunteer regularly (once every few months).

If you’re an experienced activist there will be parts you know already, but the depth we go into should give you more confidence and knowledge of how to deal with the police. Whether you’re in a group or attending as an individual, this extensive training offers you important skills to support activists.

Currently many of our trainings are online via Zoom. Online training happens over two days, each for 3 hours including two 10 minute breaks on each day. In person trainings happen over one day with a lunch break and regular shorter breaks.

To find out about upcoming trainings look at our events list.

Key Messages

  • No Comment
  • You do not need to answer police questions, so don’t.

  • No Personal Details
  • You don't have to give details under ANY stop and search power.

  • No Duty Solicitor
  • Use a recommended solicitor with protest experience.

  • No Caution
  • They admit guilt for an alleged offence that might never get to court.

  • What Power?
  • Ask "What power?" to challenge a police officer to act lawfully.