A high profile injunction case at the High Court ended this afternoon (5 July 2018) but the outcome is not expected until later in the summer.
Six women from Surrey and Sussex had challenged an injunction sought by UK Oil and Gas to restrict protests at two exploration sites and its company offices in southern England.
After a four-day hearing, Deputy Judge, Mr Justice Male, reserved judgement. His ruling is not expected until next month at the earliest.
UK Oil and Gas had argued that it was not seeking to restrict legal protest at the sites at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex and Horse Hill in Surrey. It specifically said the regularly-used protest technique of slow walking should be included in the injunction.
But Stephanie Harrison QC, for the six women, said the court should not make a blanket ban on protest actions. She described the injunction as “excessive and intrusive“ and said that if passed, it would be “the epitaph for direct action”.
This afternoon, Lorraine Inglis, of the Weald Action Group, said:
“All eyes will be on this verdict. It has serious implications for the right to peaceful protest and for our freedom of speech and right of assembly. Oil companies cannot be allowed to set the legal framework for protest in this way. We know the judge listened carefully to both sides and trust now he will throw this proposed injunction out.”