The future of a protest camp outside St Paul's Cathedral will be decided by the end of the week, a judge presiding over the case told a London court on Monday.

The decision could end or prolong a two-month encampment by Occupy London protesters beside London's famous landmark.

This case is of enormous importance to the public, Justice Keith Lindblom said at the hearing, adding he would take a trip to the site on Monday evening.

The two sides involved, Occupy London and the City of London Corporation, set out their cases on whether the 150 tents caused obstruction to businesses and worshippers, who owned the land, and whether the protest was permanent or semi-permanent.

Lawyers for the City of London Corporation said they wanted the tents removed but would allow instead a peaceful protest that does not obstruct commuters.

The defence for the Occupy group said taking down the camp would breach their human rights adding that the use of tents was an integral part of their protest.

An Occupy London spokesman added the protest intended to last as long as it would take to achieve the principles the movement set out to achieve.

The first witness Doug Wilkinson, a corporation official raised concerns about sanitation, safety and vandalism, saying the area was a particularly intensive area for cleaning.

The case continues.