Guide to Activism, Scottish Law and the Police

SCALP’s most comprehensive resource on activism, Scottish law and the police.

 3rd edition: January 2023

It will be useful to those in organising roles and legal support roles in and around protests and activism, as well as anyone wanting to know more about their rights.

The guide is designed to give you some idea of how the law and the police can affect protests, such as rallies and marches, civil disobedience and direct action. Laws, police powers and other regulations are reviewed, as well as the role of private security and – if arrests take place – what you might expect from the criminal legal system.

It’s been written by the members of the Scottish Community and Activist Legal Project to support people working for social and ecological justice in Scotland.

We hope you find it useful. If you have specific questions, or if you experience anything that is completely different to what is written in this Guide, please help us to keep it accurate by getting in touch.

There is a glossary attached to the guide which can be found here.