Ineos To Defend UK Shale Injunctions
UK chemicals and shale gas exploration firm Ineos' injunctions secured in July against anti-fracking protesters are to be challenged there in a three-day hearing starting October 31, according to Leigh Day, the law firm representing environmental campaigners opposed to fracking.
Protester Joe Boyd, represented by law firm Leigh Day, will argue that the injunction is unlawful as it has a substantial impact on the rights of those wishing to protest against the drilling for shale gas across the UK and that Ineos did not produce the evidence justifying such a broad court order.
Leigh Day said the original injunction was granted in July, at a hearing at which nobody else but Ineos and landowners who have leased land to them, were present. An initial hearing took place at the High Court on September 12 2017; the court renewed the injunction – which states that any breach can lead to imprisonment, fines or seizure of assets – at that September hearing, pending a further hearing on the matter now due to start on October 31.
The UK's only Green Party MP Caroline Lucas will tell the court in a witness statement: "Slow walking has become a particularly important form of protesting in the anti-fracking movements across the UK and I understand the injunction obtained by Ineos makes this unlawful – a development which I think is extremely worrying and detrimental to our democracy." Leigh Day solicitor Rosa Curling added: "We believe the terms of the interim injunction breach Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantee the right to freedom of expression and freedom of association."
Ineos had no related statement on its website, but separately announced October 30 it is to acquire rain jacket manufacturer Belstaff Group from JAB Luxury GmbH, noting: "On completion [due 4Q2017] this iconic British brand, with close to 100 years of heritage, will return back into British ownership."