Legal

Campaigners ask court to scrap UKOG injunction against oil and gas protests

191026 HH March1 DoD

Protest march against drilling at UKOG’s Horse Hill site. 26 October 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Lawyers for five opponents of oil and gas operations in southern England have applied to the High Court to strike out an interim injunction granted to UKOG against protests at its sites.

The campaigners said they were taking action following a landmark judgement in the Court of Appeal.

That ruling, in a case brought by the fashion retailer, Canada Goose, said interim injunctions against “persons unknown” should be “time limited”.

UKOG’s injunction, granted more than 18 months ago, was against several classes of “persons unknown”.

The five opponents, who live near the UKOG sites in Sussex and Surrey, sought to challenge the injunction in 2018, along with Friends of the Earth.

Today, the campaigners said the Canada Goose case vindicated their argument that companies such as UKOG should “stop misusing court procedures to get wide orders against lawful protesters through the unfair device of persons unknown”.

Their solicitor, Michael Oswald, of Bhatt Murphy, said:

“Following on from a Court of Appeal ruling in the Canada Goose case, we are now applying for UKOG’s claim against persons unknown to be struck out and the injunction discharged”.

“If UKOG want to continue with this injunction against protests at Horse Hill and Broadford Bridge, they will have to identify all those people they can prove have or are likely to get involved in unlawful activity so they have an opportunity to defend themselves in court.

“We will insist that UKOG need to start again with a properly constituted set of proceedings and demonstrate to the court that this order is needed plus identify those to whom it applies”.

Yesterday, DrillOrDrop reported on a move by UKOG to add 116 people to its injunction following a direction from the High Court on the Canada Goose ruling.

UKOG said the individuals added to the injunction had taken part in what it described as “unlawful acts”. Of the new people, only 26, or less than a quarter, were named. The rest were described from images, some in quite vague terms.

Almost half of the people listed were alleged to have taken part in slow walking protests. This widely-used protest technique against the onshore oil and gas industry has been tolerated or facilitated by some police forces. Many people charged with obstruction involving slow walking protests have been acquitted in the criminal courts. The Court of Appeal struck out sections of an injunction granted to Ineos that related to slow walking.

UKOG has revised part of its injunction in line with the Ineos case to remove orders relating to protests against supply chain companies.

Ann Stewart, speaking on behalf of the five campaigners, said:

“The scope of a ‘persons unknown’ injunction is far too wide and is a deterrent to peaceful protest.

“The Canada Goose judgement has confirmed that these blanket injunctions are a violation of human rights and this approach cannot be applied to ‘persons unknown’ to stifle everyone’s freedom to protest”.

“Now that UKOG have been directed by the court to identify all defendants, it is clear that lawful protesters are being added for doing no more than turning up to express their opposition to the fossil fuel industry.”

The next hearing in the case is due on 2 April 2020 at the Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1NL. Update: We now understand this hearing is to be conducted by phone

A trial, to decide whether the UKOG interim injunction should be made permanent, is due in late 2020 or early 2021.

  • The five campaigners are supported by the Weald Action Group, a network of groups across south east England which oppose the expansion of onshore oil and gas. The campaigners are represented by Bhatt Murphy Solicitors and Stephanie Harrison QC, of Garden Court Chambers.

11 replies »

  1. Looks like Martin will be sending more dodgy photos and vague descriptions to UKOG again?

    Take particular note of the camouflaged protesters on the left and right in the bushes? Quick Martin, take a copy and post it to UKOG!

    And that road and the sky looks a bit of an protest enabler too? Those signs and banners must have names and social media addresses surely?

    Some suspicious looking houses hiding in the background as well! Must be a regular hotbed of public freedom to protest in those far off days.

    When not under “Martian Law” of course?

    But wait a minute, there will be no one there at UKOG to look at it will there? Because they will all be locked down themselves!

    Dear Dear, how sad, never mind…….

  2. What on earth, was that about?

    A bit of reality. This Martin hasn’t found the need to take any ‘photos for many years!

    There is a corner within the imagination of some which is best left alone. Too much red diesel confusion with the vegetable oil. Easily done (lol), profound consequences.

    • Ha! Ha! Lost your sense of humour Martin! Oh dear, oh dear, what a shame? I am merely taking you at your own words Martin. Don’t you like being taken at your own words?

      I didn’t suggest you take photos for whatever reason did I. No old thing, I merely note that you seem to be so desperate to use Drill or Drop to provide details to UKOG for their injunction. That the provided photo above would provide you with the ideal opportunity to carry out your own threatened provided “evidence”.

      Are these your words:

      “I think DoD have done a pretty good job providing UKOG with any gaps in evidence that were in need of filling.”

      So now you deny your own words? Inconsistent and illusory as usual Martin.

      What that is about is your obsession with providing evidence to UKOG Martin! Your denial speaks volumes, perhaps you shouldn’t be so foolish as to betray yourselves with your own words?

      And as soon as you trot out your obsessive red diesel fixation, that always indicates how badly you have lost the argument and have resort to mere obsessional fantasies as if that has any meaning whatsoever, other than in the depths of your own voluminous imagination.

      But we know that don’t we ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.

      This is fun! Keep it up Martin old thing, I have all the time in the world to play with you.

      Have a nice self isolating day at home.

      • “Others can trot out their disgusting manipulation of language by throwing in a few trigger words, like “reality”, “red diesel”, “Positively Gold Standard”, “Professor Sir David McKay (the late government chief scientific officer.)” and so many many many others….
        And apparently it is you who feel that gets the excitement going?

        What is that all about Martin? Not to mention this little bizarre apocryphal story of yours:

        “There are donkeys who do well in horse breeding establishments I remember from my agricultural days. A happy life but the horses are the ones that are the reality.”

        Funny how your own words fit your own “contributions” so precisely isn’t it?

        Reality is that the entire world is going through the worst pandemic for hundred of years.

        In these days of unprecented disaster, we should be making every effort to care for eachother, supporting eachother, and providing services for people less fortunate than ourselves. By being the best we can be at all times.

        Not being the worst we can be, by sniping and sneering and desperately trying to find fictitious divisions and silly little words as displayed in your posts.

        Have a nice day, and go for your one walk in the spring sunshine you are allowed today. And for god’s sake try and enjoy life and experience to joy of living that is denied so very many others not so fortunate as yourself.

  3. Meanwhile, in the real world, INEOS announce a new factory will be built in UK in a few days providing hand sanitisers shortly!

    Someone give that guy a Knighthood!

    Car factories converting around the world to manufacture medical devices.

    Good job we have these industries so able to use their expertise and real engineering when required. Let’s hope they know what to put in the system to get the right result. Farmers out there planting their/OUR crops to keep us all nourished while some try to deny them their diesel to do so.

    Elsewhere, the reality is ignored, but the lighthouses still continue showing the way through the fog.

    (Not sure why antis are less fortunate them me. Some, from their posts, seem to be very fortunate. Misguided, but still fortunate. Wonder why such has to be used as some perverse, and probably, unwelcome justification?)

    I thank you for your nice day wishes, and assure you I will do so. Planting for Britain currently. Try it, good exercise and a healthy result at the end of it. May need some more fleece if this Global Warming doesn’t return. Hope someone is still enabling that to be produced.
    Quite organised to cope for a few weeks. Only problem may be the shortage of toilet rolls but I am working on a solution. I think if I convert to the Guardian I can get dual usage! There is always Owen Jones when you need him.

    Then after a few weeks, and if no vaccine, a few more of us will have to become infected to build the immune gaps between each other. Eldest son will hopefully be recovered by then and fully immune, and others will GRADUALLY (please) fill that role. Boris (not a trigger word, just the guy who is doing the job well) will control that.

    Let’s have a full rerun of Fawlty Towers. 4 channels on TV showing the same doom and gloom at the same time, could be reduced and replaced with something to cheer people up. Perhaps the BBC could focus a little on the recovered, as they are the ones who will start to supply the immune gaps to add to and then replace the social distancing.
    My neighbours moved out yesterday, so have started singing in the garden. Birds seem to like it!

    • Good heavens ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, wasn’t that a load of drivel and desperate diversions! As unworthy as Donald Trump’s efforts at avoiding questions?

      The real question Martin, is are you really anywhere in the real world? From past and present performance, how would you know?

      The people who are less well off than yourselves are the elderly the sick and the infirm Martin. Real living people across the world in severe danger from this worldwide pandemic, not billionaire profiteers merely exploiting another business opportunity.

      Once again your self obsessive fixations only serve to discredit anything you say. Some self isolation and social distancing from such obsessive fixations would benefit there perhaps.

      So your neighbours have moved out? Surprised? Moi? Non.

      Thats very funny Martin, because, whilst i was potting and planting in the greenhouse, the sky was suddenly black with panicked looking flocks of birds flying swiftly up from the south coast?

      Something really horrible must have scared them away….I wonder what caused that? Martian Singing Law perhaps?

  4. Ahh, not quite such an angel our PhilC. That mask slips pretty quickly. Someone else noticed the same recently.

    An awful lot of speculation in that piece, with the rest being fabrication. Do you know I am not elderly, sick or infirm? No, you do not. But, why care?

    Interesting that your speed of resorting to the holier than thou high ground when you run out of anything sensible, is accelerating. However, the Internet has one blessing. Previous comments are recorded and those who attempt such, can be scrutinised for consistency. If there are any ladies and gentlemen, boys or girls, who read your posts they will already have a pretty clear picture how it works. Just a bit quicker now.

    Strange that anyone would think a message of being better than those you disagree with is going to convince anyone-especially when it is based upon speculation, fabrication and lack of knowledge. Aimed at the kiddies?

    But, plonk in that Donald trigger word, and that Trumps intelligence. (Two triggers in one sentence!)

    Wonder how many will be so unhappy if the US pharma. companies come up with a vaccine first?

    You can refuse to use product that Sir Jim is about to produce. However, I expect there will be many glad of what he can provide.

    Produce as much as you can, and as quickly as you can, Sir Jim.

    Back to my greenhouse now. Frost forecast. Good job someone made that fleece. Can’t have our efforts going to waste, can we?

  5. Ahh, not quite such an angel our Martin Collyer is he? That mask slips pretty quickly. Several others consistently noticed the same only too recently.

    An awful lot of speculation in that piece too. with the rest being fabrication. Do you know I am not elderly, sick or infirm? No, you do not. But, judging by past performance why care? Chickens get more consideration.

    Interesting that your speed of resorting to your own holier than thou high ground when you run out of anything sensible to say, and as always is rapidly accelerating back down to the lowest of the low ground.

    However, the Internet has one blessing. Previous comments are recorded and those who attempt such themselves, and can be scrutinised for consistency. If there are any ladies and gentlemen, boys or girls, who read your posts they will already have a pretty clear picture how it works. Just a bit quicker now.

    Strange that anyone would think a message of being better than those you disagree with is going to convince anyone-especially when it is based upon fantasy obsessions, fixations with meaningless words, gross speculation, fictional fabrication and total lack of knowledge. Aimed at the adults and kiddies too?

    But, there you go again plonk in that Jimbo trigger word, and that Boris intelligence. (Two triggers in one sentence!)

    I wonder how many will be so unhappy if the independent UK scientists, develop a reliable fully tested vaccine for the NHS first? Particularly when the NHS staff and retired staff returning to fill the gaps left by this government, say that the present lack of PPE and equipment has led them like “lambs to the slaughter” and exposed them to the worst phase of the pandemic.

    You can use product that Jim is not about to produce. How will he build the factory when companies like Taylor Wimpey have stopped their staff from working on social distancing and social isolation grounds?
    However, I expect there will be many would rather Jimbo had supported the unions in Grangemouth and not threaten them with redundancy and low wages, if that is all he can provide.

    Better not produce too much plastic any more than you can, and better to be much reduced plastic production than you can, Jimbo. The planet is already choked in plastic from the highest mountain to the lowest depths of the oceans, and so are birds, animals, ocean wildlife and human beings.

    Off back to your greenhouse now. Frost forecast. Shame someone made that golden fleece out of plastic from ethanol imported from USA and not from natural renewable fibres. But I guess you can’t have Jimbo’s efforts going to waste, can you?

    You see how easy it is to reflect your ranting tirade back to you Martin? Funny how you revert to type so rapidly and fundamentally when treated in the same way you treat others.

    As always Martin, you reap what you sow.

  6. Well that was a bit of a word storm wasn’t it ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls? Perhaps the inevitable tensions and pressures that these times are causing must come out somewhere, no matter how innapropriate they are.

    Better out than in maybe. Never mind. What is emerging today is that the Corona virus bill will be decided today and Parliamentary sitting will be encouraged to operate social distancing. Then Parliament will be closed indefinitely as of tonight.

    That will leave this country in a state of Martial Law indefinitely without further democratic consultation and supervision. Unless Parliament can be reconvened after three weeks, perhaps by some sort of video conferencing or remote consultation.

    So we find ourselves in yet another unprecedented situation regarding representation and operation of democracy.

    Where this will all lead, no one knows, since a total imposed shutdown of democratic processes has not been imposed in modern times.

    So I wish you all the best of health and safety and hope that the worldwide situation recovers. We will see if some sort of evaluation of these events worldwide will lead to a complete change in how the world operates.

    Be that positive or negative. But we all realise that something fundamental had to change on planet Earth. I just hope that finally the human race will grow up and act responsibly towards this still small blue planet and live in harmony and with respect.

    Looking at conversations including my own contributions so far, I see how difficult that will be.

    But nevertheless, we will have to try to live together in harmony.

    That’s all from me.

    All the best to you all and your loved ones, and to everyone on the planet.

  7. Still here, Peter. Someone has to continue doing the research.

    Oh, by the way, Sir Jim is donating the hand gel to the NHS! Billionaire profiteers may tick a few boxes, but when that is shown to be fiction in given situation, all it shows is some have more focus upon their own agenda than posting anything that is factual. If some others want to do a bit more research, they might even find a letter from Sir Jim to Junker last year warning of the problems of the EU falling behind in supporting investment into the chemicals industry. Seems quite accurate now.

    Back to my greenhouse. Have to keep the endless supplies of Little Gems healthy, to share out later.

    I may be off air for a while as I then have some home dentistry to attempt. Not sure whether my research on that will cover all bases.

    (Strange mixture currently where an extraction of an infected tooth is delayed for 3 weeks (minimum) but my car should still be repaired next week.)

    Stay well.

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