Greenpeace Can Continue Protests Against Shell, Dutch Court Rules
An update on the legal action Shell brought against Greenpeace in a Dutch court, attempting to prohibit further actions that impede its operations: The broad injunction Shell sought against all Greenepeace protests has been rejected.
President of the Amsterdam court Han Jongeneel:
A company like Shell, that is taking actions or plans to take actions that are controversial in society and which many people will object to, can and should expect that actions will be taken to try to change its mind. Such actions, in order to be effective, will have to be capable of disadvantaging Shell.
The principle of proportionality entails that actions should not go beyond what is necessary to reach the intended goal. To date, Greenpeace has respected this requirement by not taking action at all Shell fuel stations (about 600), but at approximately 70. Therefore, there is no need to grant an injunction on this point—although Greenpeace will have to continue taking this requirement into account in future.
The court's ruling, valid for the next six months, does state however that protests at Shell properties can last no more than two hours and cannot disrupt fuel sales for more than an hour. Should protests run over that time Greenpeace Netherlands and Greenpeace International could be fined €25,000 ($32,600) per hour.