Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland student protests 'illegal'

Students have been warned that recent protests against tuition fees in Northern Ireland were illegal.

The Parades Commission said student leaders must notify both themselves and the police if they intend to hold a demonstration.

The commission said students who organise parades without proper notification “effectively render their parade illegal”.

A commission spokesman said: “Our view is that it is more than likely that the organisers of some recent parades have not been aware of the legal process involved, as opposed to being determined to actually break the law.

“However, in not notifying the commission and the PSNI of their intentions, they effectively render their parade illegal. That is something we would wish to avoid, in co-operation with those groups and individuals.”

The commission has written to the students’ unions to offer to explain the legal requirements.

While originally set up to adjudicate on parades and protests involving the loyal orders and their opponents, the commission is responsible for restricting or banning any parade it deems contentious or offensive.

Belfast Telegraph

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