When Police use obstruction laws use this : Case Law, Rice V Connelly
When you have done nothing and a drone cop demands your name and accuses you of obstruction for not giving it, hit em with this little chestnut! Case law.....
Rice v Connolly
Obstruction of the Police. An important case for limiting the scope of ‘obstruction’, by saying that you could not be convicted of obstruction for refusing to do something which you have a legal right not to do.
The references to this case in the law journals (which you are supposed to quote in court—it has been reported in two different journals, though you wouldn’t have to quote both references in court) are  QB 414 and  2 AllER 649, which you read out as, “1966, Queen’s Bench, page 414” or “1966 volume 2, All England Reports, page 649.”
Facts & background of case
The police were investigating a serious of break-ins during the night, and saw Rice behaving suspiciously in the early hours of the morning. They therefore stopped him and asked him for his name and address, and then asked him to accompany them to a police box to confirm his identity. Rice refused. He was arrested for obstruction and convicted by Grimsby magistrates, and then again on appeal to Grimsby Quarter Sessions.[note] He then appealed by ‘case stated’ (i.e. on a matter of law) to the Divisional Court. His appeal was upheld and his conviction quashed: this is the judgment of the Divisional Court in upholding his appeal.
Summary of the judgment
The judgment turned on the meaning of the word “wilfully” in the obstruction charge. It was deemed to mean “without lawful excuse” and the judges then considered whether Rice had a lawful excuse for refusing to give his name and address or go to the police box. They decided that he did, because of the legal right to silence. It’s easier to explain by reading the following passage:
It is quite clear that the appellant was making it more difficult for the police to carry out their duties, and that the police at the time and throughout were acting in accordance with their duties. The only remaining element of the alleged offence, and the one on which in my judgment this case depends, is whether the obstructing of which the appellant was guilty was a wilful obstruction. “Wilful” in this context in my judgment means not only “intentional” but also connotes something which is done without lawful excuse . . . . Accordingly, the sole question here is whether the appellant had a lawful excuse for refusing to answer the questions put to him. In my judgment he had. It seems to me quite clear that though every citizenhas a moral duty or, if you like, a social duty to assist the police, there is no legal duty to that effect, and indeed the whole basis of the common law is that right of the individual to refuse to answer questions put to him by persons in authority, and a refusal to accompany those in authority to any particular place, short, of course, of arrest. (Parker, CJ, at page 651H–652B of  2 AllER)
Note that giving false information is treated differently from remaining silent:
In my judgment there is all the difference in the world between deliberately telling a false story, something which on no view a citizen has a right to do, and preserving silence or refusing to answer, something which he has every right to do.(Parker, CJ, at page 652C)
Finally, there is some comment about whether the court had convicted Rice partly because of his alleged sarcastic and awkward attitude when stopped. This is not made an issue in this case, and Chief Justice Parker doubts whether it would have been sufficient for conviction in this case anyway. But one comment from one of the other judges is relevant for another case Ricketts v Cox:
For my own part I would only add this, that I would not go so far as to say that there may not be circumstances in which the manner of a person together with his silence could amount to an obstruction. . . (James, J, at page 652I)
Making use of the case
This is useful in limiting the definition of obstruction of the police, where Hinchliffe v Sheldon had appeared to open it up very widely. It should be useful if you are charged with obstruction for not doing something, whether remaining silent or anything else. So long as you have a legal right not to remain silent or not to do whatever it is that causes the alleged obstruction, you should be able to use Rice v Connolly to argue that your obstruction has a lawful excuse and is therefore not“wilful.”