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The ability of UK police to use "arbitrary" counter-terror stop and search powers against peace protesters and photographers lay in tatters today after a landmark ruling by the European court of human rights.
Section 44 is not in accordance with the law and amounts to a violation of article eight – the right to respect private and family life.
The European Court of Human Rights was giving its ruling in a case involving two people stopped near an arms fair in London in 2003. It said the pair's right to respect for a private and family life under human rights laws had been violated. It awarded them 33,850 euros (£30,399) in compensation. The court said the stop and search powers were "not sufficiently circumscribed" and there were not "adequate legal safeguards against abuse".