Two campaigners have vowed to continue their fight against the injunction granted to INEOS Upstream over anti-fracking protests.
The High Court judge who granted the injunction refused permission for their appeals in an order issued today.
Joe Corre and Joe Boyd said this evening they would lodge requests in early January directly with the Court of Appeal.
The judge, Mr Justice Morgan, also rejected INEOS’s application for costs against Mr Corre and Mr Boyd.
The injunction, finalised in November 2017, was directed against “persons unknown” and prohibited them from interfering with the lawful activities of INEOS’s staff and contractors. People who breached the order risked prison or seizure of their assets.
Mr Justice Morgan removed a section against harassment granted after a secret hearing in July 2017. But he maintained the injunction against two protest techniques: slow walking in front of delivery lorries and climbing on top of vehicles, known as lorry surfing.
In his ruling, he said:
“I consider that on all matters of principle, I applied established authority to the circumstances of this case.”
He identified case law to support his ruling. These included the judgement in City of London v Samede from 2012, where the Court of Appeal refused permission for a hearing.
Mr Corre said this evening:
“In many ways it is really important now to go to the court of appeal. We have something worth fighting for.
“This is nothing to do with fracking but about standing up for our human rights against the dangerous precedent that allows corporations to buy the law.”
Mr Corre said he would also be looking at bringing a case on the legality of fracking itself under the UK’s Climate Change Act.
Mr Boyd said:
“We have to go to the Court of Appeal. This case has huge public interest. It deserves to be heard by the Court of Appeal.
“We can’t just sit back on our laurels and allow a company to take out injunctions against persons unknown.
“We have to fight back, otherwise it will open the flood gates to other companies to do the same.”
Four INEOS companies and six landowners had applied for costs against Mr Corre and Mr Boyd for their challenge to the initial order.
But in today’s ruling, the judge refused their claim. Mr Justice Morgan said the participation of Mr Corre and Mr Boyd had lengthened the hearing but had been “of assistance to the court in a case of public importance”.
“I have reached the conclusion that the fair result is that there should be no order for costs in respect of the Claimants’ application.”
The judge also refused an application by Mr Corre for costs against INEOS.
- DrillOrDrop invited INEOS to comment on the judge’s ruling. This post will be updated with any response