Occupy London: St Paul's Protesters 'Have No Grounds To Appeal' Eviction
The Occupy London protesters based at St Paul's Cathedral have no right to appeal an eviction order granted last month, a judge has ruled.
Three judges at the Court of Appeal, headed by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, dismissed applications for permission to appeal against Justice Lindblom's ruling in the High Court on 18 January.
The appeal judges said that the protesters - who are understood to have reached the end of the legal road - had raised no arguable case.
However Occupy said they intended to take their case to the European court of human rights.
John Cooper QC, working pro bono for Occupy, said in a statement: "The five day trial and the hearing last week in front of one of the most influential courts in the country has firmly established Occupy as a leading and influential force in public debate.
"The legal proceedings recognised their integrity, determination and influence for good in modern society.
"Of course my clients are disappointed that in accordance with the strict interpretation of domestic law, they have not prevailed today but they do not regret one second of the chance afforded to them to make their case and challenge the approach of the Corporation and the Church.
"My clients will now be urgently considering their next legal steps with their legal team and will, we anticipate, be bringing their case to the European Court of Human Rights to give that Court the opportunity to consider the state of public protest law in Britain.”
Justice Lindblom granted orders for possession against the Occupy London protest group and said the local authority's proposed action was "entirely lawful and justified" as well as necessary and proportionate.
Protesters asked three appeal judges headed by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, for permission to challenge Justice Lindblom's ruling.
Judges heard legal argument at a Court of Appeal hearing in London on 13 February and reserved judgment until today.
On Twitter the group remained defiant:
Later, the City said it would now enforce the orders made by the High Court for the removal of the tents and equipment, but no timescale was given.
Stuart Fraser, the City of London Corporation's policy chairman, said: "We welcome the Court of Appeal ruling.
"Everyone has had their day in court and the courts have backed our application to remove tents and equipment from St Paul's.
"Peaceful protest is a democratic right but the camp is clearly in breach of highway and planning law.
"I would call on protesters to comply with the decision of the courts and remove their tents and equipment voluntarily right away."
The City said that for "operational reasons", it would not be drawn into speculation about how and when enforcement would take place.