Monday 23rd October 2023, saw 12 Just Stop Oil supporters appear at the Royal Courts of Justice at the start of a 5 day civil hearing [1,2]. They are the first out of a group of 35 that have been summoned to the High Court accused of breaking a National Highways’ injunction when they climbed or attempted to climb gantries over the M25 in November 2022. 
The Court spent the day in legal argument (of course it did) centred around two points. Mr Justice Soole finally ruled that the burden is on the defendants to prove they did not know about the injunction rather than on the claimant to prove they did. And this has to be proved to a civil standard ie on the balance of probabilities (not beyond reasonable doubt)
A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said
“The protection provided by the state, by the law for those who are flooding our towns and cities, disrupting our transport links and halting the harvest of everyday staple vegetables was on display today. Politics is failing us, we are no longer protected, we need to come together and form the real opposition so we can defend ourselves from the coming storm”
Paul Bleach, one of the defendants said:
“I’m a father of 2 and I’m here because I love my children. It can’t be business as usual because that will cause genocide and suffering. We’re in a crisis and we need to start acting like we are. Its basic common sense.”
The punishment if found guilty is up to 2 years in prison, an unlimited fine and seizure of assets. They can also be required to pay legal costs running to tens of thousands. Many of the defendants have already spent long periods on remand, experienced restrictive bail conditions and are required to wear ankle tags. Their criminal trials for public nuisance in the crown courts are due to start 2024 and run into 2025.
The case is expected to continue for the rest of the week.
 The 12 in Court are CHARLOTTE KIRIN, DANIEL JOHNSON, GAIE DELAP, JOSEPH LINHART, LUKE ELSON, MAIR BAIN, PAUL BLEACH, PAUL SOUSEK, PAUL VINCENT BELL, ROSEMARY JACKSON, THERESA HIGGINSON, THERESA NORTON (D63)
 Court Listing: 23 October 2023: Mr Justice Soole, 10:30am, Court 15
KB-2022-004333 National Highways Limited v Kirin and others
 Further information on injunctions, the NHL injunction and the repercussions of breaking them can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-k-JlmOgk6Uv1phNhEiIRg9Uc1qeSpCQIF5pHDYJmLM/edit?usp=sharing
 Press releases for the M 25 Nov 7th-10th November 2022
10.11.22 https://juststopoil.org/2022/11/10/just-stop-oil-supporters-climb-m25-gantries-for-the-fourth-day-causing-traffic-disruption-in-multiple-locations/11.11.22 https://juststopoil.org/2022/11/11/statement-just-stop-oil-halts-m25-actions/