Bylaws Case

Scope and Content

Correspondence, court papers and related notes regarding litigation begun in 1986 by Jean Hutchinson and Georgina Smith, (both GCW protestors) as a challenge to Bylaws introduced by the Ministry of Defence, 25 Apr 1985. This legislation, introduced under the 1892 Military Lands Act, restricted movement in and around Greenham Common in an attempt to curb GCW protests, thus criminalising many protestors. The legal challenge was based on the grounds that the 1892 Act made provision for Bylaws on common land, provided that no rights of Common existed on the land, which was not the case with Greenham Common. Over the course of four years, this case progressed from Magistrate's to Crown to High Courts, eventually reaching the House of Lords. The Bylaws were pronounced invalid by the House of Lords on 12 Jul 1990.This file, originally belonging to Jean Hutchinson, consists of correspondence between Barbara Cohen of the National Council for Civil Liberties and the Ministry of Defence regarding the Bylaws, Newbury District Council Bylaws relating to commons (1983), HMSO Notice of proposed Bylaws at RAF Greenham Common (1985), typescript notes for Crown Court Case, accounts of the Crown and High Court cases taken from All England Law reports (1988-1989), copies of Bylaws for other military ranges, a copy of Ch. 43, Military Lands Act, 1892, the record of the House of Lords petitions of appeal and the eventual judgement.