High Court Refuses Solicitor General’s Application to Imprison Trudi Warner  

In March 2023, Trudi held a sign outside Inner London Crown Court. She was arrested and charged with Contempt of Court.  Today, the High Court refused the application to imprison her. Mr Justice Saini, presiding over the case, said:

“The Solicitor General’s case does not disclose a reasonable basis for committal…It is fanciful to suggest that Ms Warner’s conduct [amounted to common law contempt].” “Her placard simply summarised the principle of jury equity. her conduct was consistent with information sharing. She was, in essence, a human billboard.”

A judge at the High Court this morning (Monday) said she would not face a full hearing and would not be tried for contempt of court, which could have meant two years in jail.

In March last year, 68-year-old Trudi held up a placard reminding jurors they had a right to give a verdict based on their conscience – a message that features on an historic plaque at the Old Bailey.

That led to her being arrested and the solicitor general – a Conservative minister who advises the government on the law – launching proceedings that resulted in her High Court appearance.

Trudi held her sign up outside a courtroom where people were on trial for protesting against the government’s failure to tackle the climate crisis. The judge had ruled that the defendants were not allowed to tell the jury why they were protesting and banned them from mentioning the words “climate change” and “fuel poverty”.

Good Law Project legal manager, Jennine Walker, said:

“We are delighted that Trudi’s nightmare is over and she can get on with her life free from the fear of being imprisoned.

“Juries hold a special place in our legal system because they allow ordinary people to decide what is right and fair. When the state wants to exercise the greatest power it has – that of sending someone to prison – a jury can keep it in check. Trudi’s sign simply reminded jurors of that important right.

“Let’s not forget why Trudi held up her sign. The UK government is not doing enough to prevent the damage caused by global heating that is destroying people’s homes and livelihoods.

“The law is not doing enough to hold the people and companies who are destroying our planet to account. Yet ordinary people who sound the alarm face prosecution.”


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