Access to Justice: The Impact of Injunctions, Contempt of Court Proceedings, and Costs Awards on Environmental Protestors and First Nations
McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy, Vol. 6, No. 2, p. 143, 2010
34 Pages Posted: 15 May 2011
Date Written: 2010
The demonstrations against uranium mining exploration by aboriginal and non-aboriginal residents of Sharbot Lake, Ontario illustrate how three areas of law - the law of injunctions, contempt of court proceedings and the law of public interest costs - can have a negative impact on access to justice for protestors seeking to promote and protect environmental and human rights. Using these protests as a case study, the author suggests how the law in these three areas can beimproved in order to make it more difficult for private individuals, corporations, and government to use the threat of imprisonment and crippling costs awards to dissuade aboriginal and environmental protestors from vindicating their rights. These suggestions range from strategic legal action to change legal rules on injunctions, contempt of court proceedings and costs awards, to anti-SLAPP suit legislation to facilitate access to justice for protestors.
Keywords: environmental law, aboriginal law, injunctions, contempt of court, costs, public interest costs, public protest, human rights, SLAPP suits
JEL Classification: K10, K40, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation