Earlier this year, the UK Parliament passed an Act aimed at redesigning the legislative landscape in the field of anti-social behaviour. It is no secret that, when anti-social behaviour legislation first came into force, a lot of doubts were raised as to the dangerously arbitrary nature of these measures given that, while imposing heavy limitations on freedom of movement and other fundamental rights and freedoms, the conditions for granting them were unclear, as were the requirements to which respondents had to attune to. In that context, judges played a crucial role in attempting to define the scope of anti- social behaviour measures. During the Bill’s passage, parliamentary debates emphasised the issues of vagueness and broadness but, nevertheless, the enacted legislation still poses serious questions concerning the scope, efficacy, and legitimacy of measures dealing with anti-social behaviour. This paper proposes to analyse the difficult balance between protecting communities and social groups, on the one hand, and maintaining safeguards for individual rights, on the other, that the measures in question attempt to achieve; and discusses whether the new legislation is capable of doing so without sacrificing one to the other. To that effect, it analyses a few pivotal judgments where the difficulty of maintaining this balance has become apparent.
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