More than 120 leading lawyers have published a “Declaration of Conscience”, refusing to act for new fossil fuel projects or to prosecute members of campaign groups opposing new fossil fuel projects, such as Extinction Rebellion, Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil.
The barristers now face the prospect of disciplinary action for breach of professional regulations (such as the ‘cab-rank rule’), which require them to take on any case within their competence. Some of them have self-reported to the Bar Standards Board. This is understood to be the first time in legal history that barristers have engaged in a collective act of civil disobedience. The action by the group calling themselves “Lawyers Are Responsible”, comes just a week after the IPCC published its “final warning” to humanity, urging an end to new fossil fuel developments.