HS2 injunction discharged over its northern leg

Friday 24 May 2024

Stephen Simblet KC, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, represented the defendant, instructed by Nicola Hall of Robert Lizar Solicitors, Manchester.

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Following a hearing before Mr Justice Ritchie earlier this month, the HS2 injunction, which was previously “route-wide” along all of the proposed route, has been discharged in relation to the northern section. The case has also been dropped against some of the named protestors.

The Judge accepted submissions from Stephen Simblet KC that the claimants had delayed in informing the court of the effect of the Prime Ministerial announcement not to maintain the injunction. The Judge was also persuaded that, on the current evidence, the protestors feel that they have won in relation to stopping the northern section, and that the motivation for using direct action against that has gone.

The Judge held that the mere assertion of fear of imminent and serious harm was not enough, and in order for an injunction to be maintained, it must be logically based and sufficiently evidenced. Taking all of that into account, he discharged that part of the injunction which relates to the northern section. He also awarded a measure of the legal costs incurred on behalf of James Knaggs, represented in this hearing by Stephen Simblet KC, and previously by Owen Greenhall of Garden Court Chambers.

This judgment also decided that the remainder of the injunction is to be kept under tight review, with a current time limit of 12 months in relation to those parts which remain.

See the full judgment: High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd & Anor v Persons Unknown & Ors [2024] EWHC 1277 (KB)

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