Today 12 Just Stop Oil supporters were sentenced for contempt of court for breaking an M25 injunction at the Royal Courts of Justice at the end of a 5 day civil hearing.
Theresa Norton and Mair Bain received suspended sentences as they admitted prior knowledge of the National Highways Injunction, the other ten were found not to have prior knowledge and received no penalty .
They are the first group of 44 people who 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. 
Much of the court time had been spent in legal argument centring around two points. Judge Soole ruled that the defendants had to: first, prove they did not know about the injunction and second, prove this to a civil standard, that is on the balance of probabilities not beyond reasonable doubt.
Sentencing the 12, Judge Soole said:
“While each had [their] own circumstances, there were commonalities. In each case they acted on their conscience, for reasons related to climate change and the mitigation of fossil fuels… their conscientious motivations are relevant. They are law abiding citizens apart from protest activities. In each case, she or he accepts that in a democratic society it is the duty of persons to break the law in line with their beliefs.”
Paul Bell, said:
“I’m a 23 year old climate scientist, listening to arguments on whether or not a made up, paid for law gets to take away my freedom for peaceful climate protest after people have died in Scotland’s record flooding. The system is broken, we need to pick a side, come and join hundreds of people slow marching every day from today”.
Thersea Norton said:
“The system is rigged, it was no surprise to be found guilty, it is designed to be that way. More than ever we need to unite in civil resistance against a government intent on making genocidal decisions like issuing 100 new oil and gas licences”
A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said:
“To claim, as Justice Soole did, that he is not going to determine ‘issues concerning climate change’, that he has been asked to decide only ‘whether people had knowingly breached an injunction’ shows us how the establishment operates and protects those who are committing climate genocide. ‘I’m only following orders’ – well heads up, its genocide and that doesn’t wash, we all have a responsibility to make it stop.
Today no one was imprisoned or fined, but the fact that 12 people have spent over a week in court, facing the loss of their the freedom for disobeying a ‘private law’ and now face criminal charges for the same action demonstrates our courts are not protecting the ordinary people of this country, but defending those making profit by killing people”
We are not prepared to watch while the government plans for millions to die and destroys everything we love. It’s up to all of us now to come together and resist. We cannot let them divide us. Together we can be the real opposition this country needs and we will win. We will stop new oil and gas.
Throughout November, Just Stop Oil is calling on everyone to join us to march in London until the government comes to its senses and ends new oil and gas. Sign up for action here: https://juststopoil.org/take-action/
Press contact: 07762 987334
Press email: [email protected]
High quality images & video here:https://juststopoil.org/press-media
Notes to Editors
Theresa Norton: 80 days suspended for 2 years [prior knowledge of injunction]
Mair Bain: 40 days suspended for 2 years [prior knowledge of injunction]
Joseph Linhart: No penalty [learned of injunction while on gantry]
Paul Bell: No penalty [learned of injunction while on gantry]
Paul Bleach: No penalty [learned of injunction while on gantry]
Daniel Johnson: No penalty [learned of injunction while on gantry]
Charlotte Kirin: No penalty [learned of injunction after coming down from gantry]
Rosemary Jackson: No penalty [learned of injunction after coming down from gantry]
Pavel Sousek: No penalty [learned of injunction after coming down from gantry]
Gaie Delap: No penalty [learned of injunction after coming down from gantry]
Luke Elsen: No penalty [learned of injunction after coming down from gantry]
Theresa Higginson: No penalty [learned of injunction after coming down from gantry]
Court Listing: 23 October 2023: Mr Justice Soole, 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