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Court restrictions on climate protesters ‘deeply concerning’, say leading lawyers

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Restrictions placed on non-violent climate protesters who have been tried in criminal courts were part of a “deeply concerning” “pincer movement” narrowing their rights to free expression, leading lawyers have told the Guardian.

Three Insulate Britain activists are serving jail terms for contempt of court for breaching rulings made by a judge that they were not to mention the climate crisis, fuel poverty or the history of the peaceful civil rights movement to juries.

The three – David Nixon, Amy Pritchard and Giovanna Lewis – were jailed after addressing the juries at separate trials to explain their motivation for taking direct action.

They were on trial for public nuisance for taking part in a roadblock in the City of London in October 2021 as part of a campaign by Insulate Britain which says it wants to pressurise the government to insulate UK homes to reduce carbon emissions. Nixon was convicted of public nuisance. The jury failed to reach verdicts in the trial of Lewis and Pritchard and a decision is due on 31 March on whether a retrial will take place.

The rulings…

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