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There is an article reporting a new proposal to ban extreme protest groups. It states in the pertinent parts:

Protest groups such as Just Stop Oil and Palestine Action could be banned in a similar way to terrorist organisations, under a proposal from the government’s adviser on political violence.

An upcoming report from Lord Walney, which BBC News has seen extracts of, will recommend a new category for proscribing "extreme protest groups". It defines these as those which routinely use criminal tactics to try to achieve their aims.

The sanctions could restrict a group's ability to fundraise and its right to assembly in the UK. . . .

The new restriction orders "would be distinct from proscription on terrorism grounds", the report will say.

But the mechanism could limit the activities of organisations that have a policy of using criminal offences or causing serious disruption to influence government or public debate. If a group’s actions were persistent, and used to promote a political or ideological cause, that would count against them, according to the recommendation.

If approved as it is would it fall into the category of collective punishments?

Related question.

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  • this question states nothing that asks us anything here... and boing to a 3rd party site to even understand the question is not allowed either. This lacks so much information it is insulting.
    – Trish
    Commented May 13 at 12:52

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The BBC article linked states in pertinent parts (short paragraphs collapsed into single paragraphs for ease of reading):

Protest groups such as Just Stop Oil and Palestine Action could be banned in a similar way to terrorist organisations, under a proposal from the government’s adviser on political violence.

An upcoming report from Lord Walney, which BBC News has seen extracts of, will recommend a new category for proscribing "extreme protest groups". It defines these as those which routinely use criminal tactics to try to achieve their aims.

The sanctions could restrict a group's ability to fundraise and its right to assembly in the UK. . . .

The new restriction orders "would be distinct from proscription on terrorism grounds", the report will say.

But the mechanism could limit the activities of organisations that have a policy of using criminal offences or causing serious disruption to influence government or public debate. If a group’s actions were persistent, and used to promote a political or ideological cause, that would count against them, according to the recommendation.

This proposal does not appear to be a form of collective punishment. A ban would prohibit a single organization to raise funds and conduct protests, and would not punish members of the groups affected.

It is commonplace in the law to punish organizations for activities of their organization, in ways that are specific to the organization's activity itself and not to the members of the organization. It affects one legal person, not the many members of the organization when they are acting in a manner distinct from that legal person.

In this case, there is already a well-established precedent of bans on terrorist organizations, which works more or less the same way. Likewise, both "for profit" and "non-profit" entities are routinely rewarded and punished for all sorts of group activities in furtherance of the legal fiction that groups are legal persons.

Something like a "no fly list" for members of the organization (something done for suspected members of terrorist organizations), or a blacklist for certain kinds of employment on members of the organization (something that was commonly done for members of the Communist Party during the Cold War) might constitute collective punishment. But this proposal doesn't appear to be collective punishment.

It is unclear, however, that the U.K. parliament is prohibited from imposing collective punishment, in general. The U.K. doesn't have its own bill of rights. But it might abridge one or more of its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950, as amended, that it is a party to, which is administered by the Council of Europe. The Convention doesn't expressly ban collective punishment, although arguably this right can be inferred from its express protections.

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  • Your answer overlooks a point. The risk of punishment of all the members of a group for the action of one or few of them.
    – FluidCode
    Commented May 13 at 13:05
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    @userFromEU2 The point is that the members aren't being punished, only the group. The ban doesn't impact other fundraising by group members for other groups, nor does it affect the ability of group members to, for example, participate in protests sponsored by other groups.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented May 13 at 13:06
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    The ban doesn't impact [...] the ability of group members to, for example, participate in protests But the article talks about right to assembly. The group members could be forbidden from organising a gathering even if they did not participate to the violent protest.
    – FluidCode
    Commented May 13 at 13:11
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    @userFromEU2 The ban appears to ban protests sponsored by the organization. But if you are a member of "Just Stop Oil" and want to participate in the protest organized by a non-banned group, like Greenpeace, the proposed legislation as described by the BBC doesn't appear to ban that.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented May 13 at 13:17
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    And if the group has an illegal protest, but you don't participate in it, you won't be punished for it, only the actual participants (including those who aren't members of the group). The punishment would be for the protest, not for being in the group.
    – Barmar
    Commented May 13 at 20:05

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