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Title:Lawyers to refuse to prosecute climate campaigners
Date:3/24/2023 12:42:22 PM

Leading lawyers say they will refuse to prosecute climate protesters or represent new fossil fuel projects.

More than 120 lawyers have vowed to not act against activists from groups such as Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil who are "exercising their democratic right of peaceful protest".

They have published a "Declaration of Conscience", and face the prospect of disciplinary action.

The chair of the Bar Council Nick Vineall KC said it was "disappointing".

Barrister Paul Powlesland, who signed the declaration, said: "We're refusing to advise fossil fuel companies on how to dig for new oil and gas, the same way we wouldn't advise a killer how to commit serial murders."

The group, who call themselves 'Lawyers Are Responsible', say they will withhold their services supporting new fossil fuel projects and any action against climate protesters who are "exercising their democratic right of peaceful protest".

They have called upon the government and their colleagues to "act urgently to do whatever they can to address the causes and consequences of the climate and ecological crises and to advance a just transition to sustainability".

Climate groups like Just Stop Oil, Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain have made headlines in recent years through their tactics which include blocking motorways and gluing campaigners to buildings.

They now face the prospect of disciplinary action for breaching professional regulations such as the so-called 'cab rank rule', which requires lawyers to take on any case within their competence.

The declaration has been organised by climate group Plan B, which said some of the lawyers had self-reported to the Bar Standards Board.

In a statement, the charity said: "This is understood to be the first time in legal history that barristers have engaged in a collective act of civil disobedience."

This comes a few days after the scientific body...

Date Added:3/25/2023 6:38:22 AM