Part 2: From Newbury to Extinction Rebellion

Event Series - Protest Law: Then & Now

Tuesday 9 February 2021

The Garden Court Chambers Protest Law Team invites you to a series of webinars entitled 'Protest Law - Then & Now'.

Date: Tuesday 9 February 2021
Time: 5pm - 6:30pm
Venue: Online  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Criminal Defence , Civil Liberties and Human Rights , Protest Rights , Protest Rights , Protest Rights

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The last few years have seen a resurgence in environmental protest, as more and more people have become aware of the climate crisis and the increasingly destructive war on nature. This has culminated in a collective determination to do what is possible to prevent environmental destruction.
Those currently protesting these issues are part of a long tradition of environmental protests and movements. What can we learn from the ways that the state, police and the legal system treated previous protesters and movements? And what similarities are there between the aims, goals and methods of previous movements and those we are seeing today? 
This webinar will bring together lawyers who have defended environmental activists past and present, together with lawyers who are activists on the front line defending nature and the environment, to discuss the different movements and how law and lawyers can help to defend protestors. 




Stephen Simblet QC, Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Stephen Simblet QC specialises in civil claims against the police, inquests into controversial deaths and other civil liberties work, including in the protest field having been involved in defending protestors against draconian civil injunctions, including the EDO litigation, injunctions sought against anti- hunt protestors and more recently against those brought by the petro-chemicals industries, including the INEOS and UKOG injunction proceedings. In previous times, he was also involved in criminal cases such as the acquittal of members of Spiral Tribe following the Castlemorton free festival and of anti- tree- removal protestors in relation to the Twyford Down protests. 

Rajiv Menon QC, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers
Rajiv has been a barrister at Garden Court Chambers for over 25 years. He specialises in criminal defence, inquests, inquiries, and police actions. He has acted for a wide range of political protesters in both criminal and civil cases. He has represented anti-fascist and anti-racist activists, anti-nuclear and peace activists, hunt saboteurs and other animal rights activists, and anti-road and other environmental activists. He will speak for about 10-15 minutes about how the state’s response to political protest has mutated over the years and how the political space for protest has been deliberately shrunk.

Stephanie Harrison QC, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers
Stephanie is a leading public law practitioner who has appeared at all court levels. Her multi-disciplinary practice spans the breadth of public law and civil liberties. Stephanie's cases include those arising from unlawful detention, national security, official misconduct, abuse of power, child sexual exploitation, equality and discrimination, minority rights and civil rights protest and injunctions. Stephanie recently represented five protestors in an application to end draconian UKOG injunction banning peaceful protest at oil sites in Surrey and Sussex.

Stephanie is regularly involved in test case litigation and has been instrumental in winning some of the most important cases within her areas of specialism in recent times. Much of her work is high profile and receives media coverage. She is passionate about upholding and advancing the rights of vulnerable, minority groups. Stephanie was appointed as legal counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in 2015 and is head of the Garden Court Public Law team. Stephanie is ranked for Administrative and Public Law, Civil Liberties & Human Rights and Immigration in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. Stephanie was shortlisted for Civil Liberties & Human Rights Silk of the Year at Legal 500 UK Awards 2020.

Paul Powlesland, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Paul is passionate about protecting and representing the natural world and all who seek to defend it. He specialises in upholding the rights of environmental activists to protest and protect the natural world, and uses environmental law and regulations to defend trees, rivers and wildlife. Paul has a particular specialism in representing environmental activists in injunction proceedings, where companies, public authorities or other organisations are often seeking to prevent peaceful protest against environmental destruction. Paul advised and represented the Sheffield tree protesters in numerous cases over a two year period that culminated in the protesters winning their fight against Sheffield City Council and thousands of street trees being saved. He has also represented numerous other protesters in injunction cases, including those opposing HS2, other local residents groups opposing tree felling and anti-fracking activists.  Paul is the founder of Lawyers for Nature and regularly gives talks and workshops on the rights of nature, the relationship between the law and the natural world and what barristers and other lawyers should do in a time of climate and ecological emergency.

Audrey Cherryl Mogan, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Audrey Cherryl Mogan is a specialist criminal defence barrister with particular expertise representing vulnerable defendants. She has experience in cases involving victims of trafficking, drugs, serious violence and protest law, having acted for Stonehenge, Extinction Rebellion and Heathrow Pause protesters to name a few. Audrey has in-depth knowledge of European and international human rights law gained through ten years in the NGO sector, and is a committee member of the Black Protest Legal Support group and Young Legal Aid Lawyers.

Mike Schwarz, Partner, Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
Mike Schwarz is a field-leading expert in the law surrounding protests and is well-versed in defending those facing the most serious and complex offences, including murder, fraud, money laundering and multi-party criminal proceedings. Mike is particularly well-known for representing high-profile political activists and campaigners championing a diverse range of social justice issues such as animal rights, pacifism and racial equality. For thirty years he has specialised in supporting those who campaign to protect the environment and demonstrate against roads, incinerators, GM crops and most recently government and business inaction in the face of the climate emergency. He regularly advises and trains campaign groups, trade unions and non-governmental organisations on criminal and public order law and has advised journalists in connection with diverse allegations such as terrorism and harassment.

He has been involved in cases requiring the investigation and exposure of misconduct by the state, police and other public bodies. He has a particular interest in protecting citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly under Article 10 and Article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). As an expert on civil liberties, Mike is regularly invited to appear in the specialist and mainstream broadcast media to discuss the right to protest and the deployment of undercover police. He speaks to a wide range of audiences, ranging from activists in squats, fields and protests sites across the UK to being an invited speaker at the Oxford Union and giving evidence to parliamentary committees and conferences.

Mike is consistently praised for his work and client care in legal directories such as Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 in the areas of general crime, protest law, civil liberties, human rights and fraud. The former has described him as ‘One of the top lawyers for protest law' who has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge’ of protest and undercover policing matters. 

Event Series (Further details to be announced)

Part 1 - From Mangrove to Black Lives Matter Protests
5pm-6:30pm, Tuesday 26 January 2021

Part 2 - From Newbury to Extinction Rebellion
5pm-6:30pm, Tuesday 9 February 2021

Part 3 - From Stansted 15 to Jamaica 50
5pm-6:30pm, Tuesday 23 February 2021

Part 4 - From Then to NOW
5pm-6:30pm, Tuesday 16 March 2021

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