Garden Court barristers succeed in important protest case

Tuesday 7 August 2007

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Stephanie Harrison and Stephen Simblet from Garden Court Chambers (together with Nick Blake QC) represented people and organisations opposed to expansion at Heathrow Airport in an application by the airport for an injunction prohibiting harassment and nuisance. The injunction originally sought would have prevented potentially millions of people from travelling on the London Underground and visiting swathes of land in west London. It had also involved proceeding against entirely lawful and law- abiding protest groups, who were brought before the court simply to try to stop planned activities in relation to aviation and climate change, which the court heard, are supported by the local MP.

The Airport's claim to an injunction was rejected against all but one of the groups involved. Importantly, and no remedy under the Protection from Harassment Act was given and the very limited injunction granted by Swift J does not contain a power of arrest. Heathrow were ordered to pay most of the costs involved in resisting the application and ended up only with an order that relates to trespass and to preventing activities that is prohibited anyway under existing byelaws.

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