Cairn Energy had raised an action against all the various entities of Greenpeace it could possibly think of, to permanently prevent the activists carrying out any further protests against it in Scotland.

In 2011 around 40 people dressed as polar bears invaded Cairn’s offices to promote their protest against Cairn’s activities in drilling for  oil in Greenland, the Arctic and the North Sea.  They appeared to be looking for Cairn’s oil spill response plan in particular when they went through papers in the oil company’s offices.

The court heard that the protesters “ran amock through the offices, occupying the fifth floor office space and the fourth floor vestibule, ransacking rooms and desks and rifling through cabinets. They caused a nuisance, preventing the petitioner and its staff from engaging in the lawful conduct of their business. They occupied the reception areas and interfered with the phone systems. Some of them chained themselves to desks. As a result, the petitioner and its staff were severely inconvenienced and disrupted and the staff had to vacate areas of the office and eventually had to go home on the direction of the police.”

Lord Glennie has now issued his judgement which refuses the request from Cairn to prevent any future protests by one of the Greenpeace entities, STICHTING GREENPEACE COUNCIL, which is commonly known as Greenpeace International,(GPI) and render them illegal, notwithstanding that an interim order was granted at the time of the initial demonstration.

Two of the other Greenpeace entities, Greenpeace Ltd and Greenpeace UK Ltd have already given assurances that they would not carry out any further actions against the Edinburgh oil company, but Cairn had particularly wanted a permanent interdict against GPI as they consider them to be behind all of the activism. Greenpeace UK has complied with the court order to remove all photos of the protest from their website.

Cairn’s request for permanent interdict was refused and the matter of expenses remains to be settled.

The opinion is online.