Judicial Review of G20 policing: court report
Anyone who was there on April 1st 2009 outside the European Climate Exchange will not quickly forget the policing of that day and not have two unanswered questions. Why did the police decide to kettle the Climate Camp anyway? And why did the police use such a massive amount of force?
I spent today at the Royal Courts of Justice with lawyers representing some Climate Campers who have launched a Judicial Review about the actions of the police on April 1st.
They are arguing that the police should not have kettled us, when they did kettle us they should not have kept us all in the kettle until they decided to ‘disperse’ us, that the level of force used by the police was not appropriate, and that the camp should not have been ‘dispersed’ in the night, amongst other things.
Today was the ‘directions hearing’, where our lawyers presented arguments to the Court about what evidence the police had to give us and crucially, if Chief Superintendent Johnson, the key police decision-maker for the police action taken at the Camp, could be cross examined about his decisions.
At the end of a long morning, the Judge said that Chief Superintendent Johnson would be required to attend Court and depending on what the Judge on the day says, he may well have to take the stand and answer questions from our lawyers.
In my personal opinion, I would love to see him squirm trying to justify his decisions that lead to police behaving so brutally that day. Our lawyers seemed pretty happy with the outcome (cross-examination in Judicial Reviews is very rare so this is quite an achievement), so hopefully that means we are set up well for the rest of the case.
The next thing to happen is the actual hearing, which should be scheduled the Spring and should take three days. We would appreciate it if a few people came and showed their support, so there will be something in the Climate Camp newsletter with the time and place nearer the time.
The legal team would like to thank the people for their donations which made this case possible.