As an activist, becoming an Earth Protector (trustee of the Earth Protectors Trust Fund) gives you the possibility of using the Trust Fund document as part of your defence when pleading Not Guilty in a court of law. As a conscientious protector, your right to freedom of conscience is already enshrined in law. You have the right to assert your freedom of conscience under Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights (or if outside Europe you can rely on Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). This will normally be in addition to a defence of necessity, duress of circumstance or similar.
In conjunction with the evidence of ecocide that you and your community provide, when you speak as a conscientious protector the court shall have a duty to examine the wider context in which you have been arrested. By law, the judge must give proper consideration to discern whether you acted from your conscience and if this constitutes a valid basis on which to acquit.
To assist you in your court case, please read on for key documents and templates. We can also directly support you with advice and document preparation for your case - please contact us to discuss this.
DOCUMENTS FOR PRESENTING IN COURT
As a conscientious protector, you are seeking justice. That can only occur when there has been a proper examination of the evidence of the serious harm you have sought to prevent.
The documents listed and/or linked to below are designed to supplement your defence and assist you, your lawyers and the court.* An Explanatory Note can be found here (PDF).
1 Your EPTF document - this is your document which you will have received by email.
Also attached to your confirmation email will have been:
2 Your blockchain certificate - print both documents and save your email for your records.
Because you are a Trustee of the EPTF, you can present your signed document to the court and it must be given due weight. The court cannot ignore it. So this is your opportunity to speak as an Earth Protector.
3 Your EP Statement of Conscience, for you to download and complete. This will greatly assist your lawyers, so that they can make sure you are presented in court with all facts to hand.
4 Your Harm and Submissions Dossier. This is for you with the aid of your community that is facing ecocide to set out the evidence of what the serious harm is. This requires a bit of work to prepare; reach out to your community - you will find that much of what you require will be there.
For activists facing charges in fracking-related cases, we have a Fracking Harms and Submissions Dossier. Please contact us if you wish to use it.
5 The Continuity of Exhibits Witness Statement (PDF) - this is signed by me. This statement will be required by the court so that the provenance of the exhibits are established and presented to the court. My statement sets out the process by which the EPTF was created, apostilled, and subsequently presented. Attached is the list of countries that have apostilled the EPTF document. The EPTF has been apostilled (legally verified) in virtually every jurisdiction in the world, so whether or not you are appearing in a court in another country or your own home country, your EPTF carries the weight of being accepted as a legal document.
We suggest you print out all of the documents, read the explanatory note and watch the above video again - that way each document should be easy to follow through. Good luck, and keep us posted. We shall be reporting the outcomes so that conscientious protectors elsewhere can do the same.
*Please note: our documents are based on UK court documents. The Harm & Submissions Dossier is designed to be adapted for the facts of your case, easy to adapt for use in other countries. For activists facing charges in fracking-related cases, we have a Fracking Harms and Submissions Dossier. Please contact us if you wish to use it. If in doubt, seek a criminal lawyer who can advise with regards to any changes that may be required for use in your country’s court of law.
Further useful links:
Legal Environmental Action for the Protection of People & Planet (UK)