Lord Chief Justice quashes Stansted 15 convictions

Friday 29 January 2021

The Court of Appeal has today quashed the convictions of the Stansted 15 protestors who should not have been charged with a terrorism offence.

Owen Greenhall of the Garden Court Crime and Protest Rights Teams was instructed in the appeal by Raj Chada and Mike Schwarz of Hodge Jones and Allen Solicitors. He appeared with Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh (Matrix Chambers) and they were lead by Clare Montgomery QC (Matrix Chambers) and Tim Moloney QC (Doughty Street Chambers).

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The Stansted 15 took action to stop a deportation charter flight containing persons at risk of harm. They were charged and convicted of an offence under the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990. The charge is a convention offence for the purposes of the Terrorism Act 2006.

The Lord Chief Justice ruled that:

“The appellants should not have been prosecuted for the extremely serious offence under section 1(2)(b) of the 1990 Act because their conduct did not satisfy the various elements of the offence. There was, in truth, no case to answer. “

Of the 60 persons due to be on the deportation flight, eleven remain in the country. Five of them have established their right to remain, including three on human rights grounds. One of those has been granted asylum as a victim of human trafficking.

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