Climate warning
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Victoria Prentis

Climate warning

Removing UK climate protesters’ defence ‘could erode right to trial by jury’

UK's attorney general, Victoria Prentis KC, has appealed for the last defence used by environmental protesters to be removed. This is after a defendant labeled C was acquited by the jury for acts of criminal damage involving daubing paint on buildings. Speaking to the Guardian, the defendant says the attempt to remove the defence was an assault on the rights of juries to acquit defendants. This is after she was found not guilty by a jury of criminal damage in a climate trial last year. “I was found not guilty by a jury after a long trial. I feel like the attorney general is trying to retrospectively challenge the jury’s decision. It feels like an assault on the rights of juries to acquit someone having listened to the evidence.” Tom Little KC for the attorney general, told the appeal court judges that use of the so-called “consent” defence under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 was wrong and too broad an interpretation of the law. The defence, which relates to criminal damage only, involves a defendant arguing they had an honest belief that the owner of the property damaged would have consented if they had known the reasons why the action had been taken. Recently climate defenders have resorted to using this after a similar defence was removed under the Human Rights Act by the former attorney general, Suella Braverman. “The defence has only recently begun to be run … since the last attorney general closed down one door. Another door has been wrongly broken down in order [for defendants] to make this argument,” he said. On his part Henry Blaxland KC, for defendant C argues that this is a matter for a jury to decide whether a defendant honestly believed that the owner of a property would have consented to the damage caused. “This is a matter for the jury,” said Blaxland. He said to stop a defendant presenting the defence to jurors “would be a slippery slope to the erosion of the constitutional right to trial by jury”. Source - The Guardian Read More - https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/feb/21/removing-uk-climate-protesters-defence-could-erode-right-to-trial-by-jury

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  • Abraham Jok Atem

    5 w

    Where is peaceful demonstration if this is an offense??

    • We Don't Have Time

      6 w

      Dear Joseph Githinji Your climate warning has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to Victoria Prentis by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

      • Kevin

        6 w

        Citizens have a right to peacefully assemble

        3
        • Chris Ndungu

          7 w

          The government need to do the necessary in it's part. It should give protesters their full right as long as their protest make sense.

          3
          • Jane Wangui

            7 w

            The government should come up with laws that protect those fighting for what's important and what will be of benefit in the present and future

            1
            • Ann Nyambura

              7 w

              Environmental protesters deserve a fair trial, and juries play a crucial role in upholding that fairness.

              3
              • Joseph Githinji

                7 w

                @ann_nyambura_542 I agree, they deserve to be heard by the jury.

                3
              • Esther Wanjiku

                7 w

                The right to peacefully picket is deeply enshrined in the UKs constitution and would be preposterous to imagine that accused persons cannot defend themselves in the near future.

                3
                • Joseph Githinji

                  7 w

                  @esther_wanjiku_785 it is totally disappointed and shouldn't be allowed to happen, the rights of the people must be respected.

                  3
                • Saustine Lusanzu

                  7 w

                  No need to use much force for the people acting and fighting for their future

                  6
                  • Joseph Githinji

                    7 w

                    @saustine_lusanzu true, fair trial is worth it.

                    3
                  • George Kariuki

                    7 w

                    This raises alot of concerns about the government's commitment to upholding the right to peaceful protest.

                    8
                    • Joseph Githinji

                      7 w

                      @george_kariuki I agree, I hope the AG's appeal won't sail through.

                      3
                    • Munene Mugambi

                      7 w

                      This is an encroachment on the rights of people to protest and picket, as it means they will not be able to defend themselves in the future. When a jury of your peers finds you innocent, it should send a message to the Attorney General that this is a dead end and they should end the wild goose chase. Let it go, it's over.

                      10
                      • Joseph Githinji

                        7 w

                        @munene_mugambi It is a major concern how climate defenders are silenced by government laws.

                        3
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