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Judge strips BAA injunction down to bare minimum

7th August, 2007

 Ms Justice Swift gave her ruling in the case of BAA vs Garman – the widely-publicised attempt by the operator of Heathrow airport to stop, or hamper, the Camp for Climate Action due to take place later this month. Although she granted a limited injunction against direct action group Plane Stupid, BAA were left with a fraction of what they had originally sought.

Specifically, the injunction was limited:

  • in time to the month of August. BAA had sought an unlimited measure
  • in scope to the airport and its immediate access roads. BAA had sought powers over the Piccadilly Line, Heathrow Express and parts of the M4 and M25
  • in application to Plane Stupid. Claims against AirportWatch, the umbrella body of which AEF is a member along with FoE, Greenpeace, RSPB, the National Trust and others, were dismissed, as were claims against HACAN and NoTRAG, residents’ groups local to Heathrow
  • in enforcement terms to the civil offence of trespass. The judge threw out any injunction based on intended harassment, which would have carried criminal penalties under legislation designed to deter stalkers.

Although BAA attempted to put a positive spin on this result, it was widely seen in the media as an embarrassing own-goal for the airport operators, who have generated massive publicity for the camp whilst outraging large swathes of ‘middle England’ by their arrogant corporate bullying. One suspects Ms Judge Swift felt the same way, as she felt no need to even hear the defendants’ plea for costs before ordering BAA to pay them.

The Camp for Climate Action will go ahead as planned from 14-21 August. Of the week-long event, direct action is planned for one day only (Sunday 19th). AEF will be holding a workshop from 2pm to 4pm on Tuesday 15th, and there are other slots for AirportWatch. (Click here for details) We are delighted that the court has upheld our right to carry out this legitimate, peaceful, educational activity.

See also an article by AEF’s Peter Lockley on the ruling.