An environmentalist will tell the High Court today that a pre-emptive injunction against anti-fracking protests is unlawful and too broad.
Lawyers for Joe Boyd will argue that the injunction obtained by Ineos, the shale gas exploration company, has made a “substantial impact on the rights of those wishing to protest against the drilling for shale gas across the UK”.
The latest battle in the fracking war, which is listed for a three-day hearing, will involve Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP and co-leader, giving evidence in support of Boyd’s application.
Boyd claims that the injunction has the effect of stopping protests at Ineos’s fracking sites and at its suppliers’ sites and more widely in relation to its business activities. His lawyers will tell the court that that Ineos did not produce the evidence justifying such a broad court order.
They will also argue that the injunction breaches articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantee the right to freedom of expression and freedom of association.
“If this pre-emptive injunction is allowed to stand, our rights as citizens of the UK to engage in peaceful protests will be significantly curtailed,” said Rosa Curling, a lawyer at the London law firm Leigh Day, which is representing Boyd.
“Our client is fighting against this injunction to ensure that local people, citizens and campaigners retain their right to hold peaceful protests against the fracking industry and those involved in it.”