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Ineos compelled to disclose document it used to justify fracking protest injunction
11.10.17
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"A multinational firm has backed down and disclosed a legal document that it used to justify a controversial sweeping injunction against anti-fracking protesters.

Ineos, which aspires to become one of the UK’s major frackers, had refused to disclose the document after it had been requested by the Guardian under open justice guidelines. However the petrochemical giant has reversed its stance and handed it over to the newspaper.

The document – drawn up for a public court case last month – set out the firm’s arguments for the continuation of the temporary injunction which covers all campaigners protesting against Ineos’s fracking activities."

See: Ineos compelled to disclose document it used to justify fracking protest injunction (The Guardian, link)

It has previously been recommended to the UK by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and association that a halt be put to the enforcement of private injunctions against peaceful protesters.

See: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai: Mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Statewatch News Online, June 2013)

And see: UK: Closed justice: how British courts are still keeping the public in the dark (The Guardian, link) by Rob Evans:

"Reporting public court cases can sometimes feel like you have come into a conversation halfway through and are then left struggling to understand what is being talked about. It is an open court, but it feels like it is being conducted as private business between the lawyers and the judge.

Barristers often start their speeches by saying that they have submitted their arguments in a document to the judge so there is no need to repeat some of them to the court. The documents, however, are often not passed to the press or members of the public sitting in the courtroom, leaving them in the dark. At other times, barristers point to a passage in a document, and then the judge and the lawyers sit there in silence reading it before the proceedings resume. Again, those documents have invariably not been shared with the press or public who have no idea what was being examined.

In theory we have open justice in this country. In practice it often does not seem like that."

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