11 Abr 2019

Victory for nature protectors in injunction cases

Last week in the Court of Appeal there was an excellent result for all those seeking to protect the natural world. 


Over the past few years, as resistance to environmentally destructive activities has grown, so has the use of injunctions by companies to try and restrain protest and direct action. These injunctions have been obtained by almost all fracking companies, but also by other organisations, such as by Sheffield City Council who sought to prevent protest in relation to its tree felling. 


In the High Court in December, the founder Lawyers for Nature argued on behalf of an anti-fracking campaigner that the injunction sought by Igas in relation to three potential fracking sites was far too wide. In particular, it was argued that the combination of widespread prohibitions in the public sphere (particularly on the public highway), together with the use of ‘persons unknown’ injunctions leads to the prospect of rich, environmentally destructive companies being able to ‘buy’ their own law to silence protest against their activities. 


In a strong judgement, the Court of Appeal accepted some of these arguments last week; albeit not on the issue of ‘persons unknown’ injunctions. This judgement is important both in vindicating human rights and the right to protest, but also in protecting those seeking to defend nature. 


At Lawyers for Nature, we are now looking into challenging injunctions that were previously granted, on the basis of this new judgement: watch this space!