defending environmental protestors
Garden Court is renowned as one of the leading chambers in the UK specialising in civil liberties, human rights and criminal defence. We are ranked as a leading chambers in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for our expertise in these areas of law.
Our barristers have considerable experience defending environmental protesters in criminal proceedings, including:
- Greenpeace activists
- Anti-fracking protestors
- Anti-GM crop protesters
- The ‘Heathrow 13’
- G20 Climate Camp protesters
We have pursued legal action in the High Court on human rights grounds against energy companies, such as Ineos and UK Oil & Gas, who seek draconian injunctions to restrict the legitimate right to protest.
Our barristers have authored the key text on protest rights, The Protest Handbook.
international environmental law
Significant international work has included cases concerning land rights, corporate responsibility, oil exploration and drilling.
Recent significant cases include legal action taken against the Government of Antigua & Barbuda on behalf of Barbudans affected by and opposed to the destruction of ancient forests, rare wildlife and sensitive ecosystems associated with the construction of an international airport on Barbuda. The legal action resulted in an interim injunction granted by the High Court of Antigua & Barbuda, which halted all construction on the airport.
Through the Global Legal Action Network, our barristers are pursuing a high profile legal challenge in the European Court of Human Rights against the governments of Europe over their failure to cut green house gas emissions.
Our barrister, Richard Harvey, is currently a consultant to Greenpeace International, assisting them with carrying out their environmental mission around the world.
funding your case
Given some of the difficulties in obtaining legal aid for these cases, we do our best to work with other funding arrangements, including ‘no win, no fee’ agreements where appropriate, fixed fees for some matters and crowd funding.
In some cases legal action to protect the environment is protected by the Aarhus Convention, which limits the amount a claimant would have to pay a defendant if the claim is unsuccessful. The limit is £5,000 for individual claimants and £10,000 for group claimants. The Aarhus regime also imposes a cap of £35,000 to limit the amount a successful claimant can claim from a public body.