High Court confusion over exactly who BAA wants to ban from protesting at Heathrow
Published: 02 August 2007
at Heathrow, when a High Court judge admitted yesterday to being confused over
exactly who the company wanted to ban from travelling to the airport. Amid scenes
of near farce at the Royal Courts of Justice, Justice Caroline Swift, asked Timothy
Lawson-Cruttenden, the lawyer representing BAA’s subsidiary, Heathrow Airport
Limited, to clarify the terms of the injunction he was seeking, stating: “I have
to know what I am being asked to do.”
were acting unlawfully, but was unable to clarify who might come into that category
under the terms of the injunction.
reference to the umbrella environmental group, Airport Watch, which includes organisations
such as the National Trust and the Woodland Trust.
organisations could be affected.
the ban to people using roads and public transport to get to the airport, even
including the Piccadilly line on the London Underground.
is aimed at protecting the airport and the safety of passengers and staff “against
the planned direct action by environmental activists”. Mr Lawson-Cruttenden insisted
BAA had not intended to bring five million people within the scope of the injunction,
saying “I never sought to injunct five million law-abiding individuals.”
named protesters, but seemed to suggest it would still have some sway over supporters
of their organisations.
confusion. “This is a hopeless start to a hopeless application,” he told the court.
Tube’s inclusion in the injunction – described its terms as unjustified and disproportionate.
Referring to Mr Lawson-Cruttenden, he said: “He had said the only people being
served this injunction were the four defendants but it was clear until we arrived
here today that the number of people injuncted included all the members of the
of BAA’s intentions when the hearing continues today.
law and disrupt Heathrow’s operations and passenger flights during the planned
camp next month. Mr Lawson-Cruttenden showed the judge a video of coverage of
one of the protest groups, Plane Stupid, showing its direct action at Nottingham-East
Midlands airport which delayed 1,000 passengers.
for a weekend on a short-haul flight pales into insignificance compared with the
threat of climate change.”
as “unlawful behaviour”. He questioned why a wish-list on the climate camp website
would include items such as strong wooden poles, magnets, saws and axes.
the RSPB and the Council For The Protection Of Rural England and a benefactor
of the National Trust but she said she felt it did not disqualify her from hearing