Guide to the Public Order Act 2023

The Public Order Act 2023 has received a lot of attention for the impact it will have on activists in England and Wales. This guide is designed to help you understand the law as it is written. It is hard to know exactly how the measures will impact protesters until more time has passed. If you are arrested or threatened with arrest under any section covered here, please let us

know by calling the Protest Support Line on 07946 541511 so we can better understand how these changes are being used.

To help you understand the offences and changes to the law, in collaboration with our comrades in the Activist Court Aid Brigade, we’ve put together a guide (below) with all the key information activists will need

Image showing a dark skinned hand holding up a megaphone with a rainbow billowing out from the end of it, and the title Public Order Act 2023 with the groups Green and Black Cross and Activist Court Aid Brigade that cocreated the guide

Click above to view the PDF guide

PLEASE NOTE: At the time of writing, a chunk of the Act is not yet in force, meaning it cannot be used unless and until it is ‘commenced’ in Parliament. We’ve noted this next to each heading where it applies, and will try to update the guide and this page as this changes. To be sure if this has changed when you’re reading this, see here on the legislation website.


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.