Independent Report on Marches, Parades and Static Demonstrations in Scotland

Independent advice prepared by Dr Michael Rosie on marches, parades and static demonstrations in Scotland.


1. Cited in Community Impact of Public Processions, p9

2. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, on his mission to the United Kingdom (14-23 January 2013)

3. North Lanarkshire Council, Planning and Environment Committee, Report on Consultation: Galas and Events Affecting Public Roads, May 2004 (available at

4. City of Edinburgh Council, Report to Executive of the Council: Galas and Events Affecting Public Roads: Guidance to Organisers, June 2004. Available here.

5. The Road Traffic Regulation (Special Events) Act 1994, Section 16 B (6) states :

Where an order has been made under section 16A of this Act in any calendar year, no further order may be made under that section in that year so as to affect any length of road affected by the previous order, unless the further order-
(a) is made by the Secretary of State as the traffic authority for the road concerned; or
(b) is made with his consent.

6. Transport Scotland, 11 September 2015: "Section 16A Special Events - Guidance". We thank Transport Scotland for drawing our attention to this guidance.

7. Glasgow City Council, Policy and Code of Conduct on Public Processions , 2014, p18

8. Section 14 concerns "Imposing conditions on public assemblies" and reads as follows:.

(1) If the senior police officer, having regard to the time or place at which and the circumstances in which any public assembly is being held or is intended to be held, reasonably believes that-

(a) it may result in serious public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community, or
(b) the purpose of the persons organising it is the intimidation of others with a view to compelling them not to do an act they have a right to do, or to do an act they have a right not to do,

he may give directions imposing on the persons organising or taking part in the assembly such conditions as to the place at which the assembly may be (or continue to be) held, its maximum duration, or the maximum number of persons who may constitute it, as appear to him necessary to prevent such disorder, damage, disruption or intimidation.

9. The amendment was made in Section 57 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act, 2003 which does not apply to Scotland.

10. Accessed at (31 March 2016)



13. Orr, Recommendation 4 (p142)

14. See, e.g., Report of the Events Planning and Operation Group's work from January 2014 to December 2014, submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council, Culture and Sport Committee, 10 March 2015.

15. We acknowledge the assistance of Kevin Sewell at Scottish Borders Council in providing information about the SAG model.

16. Two key reasons for this are the Committee's decision that it must consider any procession which traverses the city's High Street or are in some way 'controversial'. The Edinburgh Tram Acts 2006, having displaced most processions from Princes Street the Council is understandably sensitive to the volume of events occurring in the High Street, but the second reason for passing to Committee is ill-defined.

17. The earliest (normally) allowable time for music ranges from 07.30 through to 10.00; the latest (normally) allowable ranges from 18.00 through to 21.00

18. Half of marriages in Scotland are civil marriages, of which around half take place in Registry Offices and half in other places. Around half of the religious marriages are not conducted in places of worship. This means that only one-quarter of marriages take place in a place of worship. See Scotland's Population 2014 - The Registrar General's Annual Review of Demographic Trends, National Records of Scotland, 2015 (

19. Policy and Code of Conduct on Public Processions , City of Edinburgh Council Regulatory Committee , 01 February 2016 (sections 3.10, 3.11)

20. The 'opt-in' lists were seen as an efficient means to meet existing Council obligations under section 63(10) of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act, 1982 .

21 I am grateful to the County Grand Orange Lodge of the East of Scotland for information relating to these.

22. Agenda and documents available:

23 Minutes available: See also Perth and Kinross Council Licensing Committee, Statement of Reasons in respect of the granting of an Order to impose a condition on the holding of a procession for St Andrew's True Blues LOL 209, June 2015

24 Newspaper headlines on 18th and 19th May 2016 included: "Council to cover Orange order march costs worth thousands of pounds" ( The Herald); "Fury as Labour councillors award community grant cash to the Orange Order for Falkirk march" ( The National); "Falkirk Council 'to help pay Orange walk costs'" ( The Scotsman).

25 Falkirk Herald, 19 th May 2016, "Police accused of 'washing their hands' of traffic role",
Read more:

Falkirk Herald, 20 th May 2016, "'We have to draw a line somewhere' says Falkirk's top cop";

26 City of Edinburgh Council Regulatory Committee , 01 February 2016 - Proposed Policy and Code of Conduct on Public Processions


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