Lawyers for Extinction Rebellion Declare Rebellion - Extinction Rebellion UK
Lawyers for Extinction Rebellion

Lawyers for Extinction Rebellion Declare Rebellion

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  • Lawyers for Extinction Rebellion make Declaration of Rebellion in outside the Royal Courts of Justice, the historic centre of the UK’s legal sector
  • Eminent lawyers and environmetnal activists speak in support of Extinction Rebellion
  • Lawyers then took to the streets around Temple to circulate the Lawyers’ Declaration of Rebellion amongst the legal community and to show solidarity with Extinction Rebellion
  • Protest takes place as part of International Rebellion from 7 October

At 12.30pm, 9 October 2019, Lawyers for Extinction Rebellion met outside the Royal Courts of Justice to issue their Lawyers’ Declaration of Rebellion. 

Renowned lawyers and campaigners spoke in support of the Declaration, while Lady Justice, symbolising the rule of law, presided, over the event.

Afterwards, copies of the Declaration, tied with pink ribbon, which is the colour used to denote defence briefs in legal cases, were distributed to lawyers, as an invitation for them, and the legal system, to stand in defence of our climate and our ecology.

The action highlighted:

  • The ongoing catastrophe of climate breakdown and ecological crisis;
  • The complicity of law in enabling this breakdown and its abject failure by our laws and legal system to uphold what should be their ultimate purpose: to protect and enrich life; and
  • The critical part the law must play in restoring the health of the planet, and the urgent and deep change needed in the operation of our legal system in order to deliver this.

Lawyers for Extinction Rebellion seeks justice for all:

  • Climate justice for all people on earth, especially those in the Global South who are being and will be harmed by our actions and omissions.
  • Intergenerational justice for young people and future generations to come, for whom we hold this beautiful planet on sacred trust.
  • Ecological justice for the natural world and legal rights for nature.


Paul Powlesland, Barrister and support of lawyers for Extinction Rebellion, said: “Now, at this time of climate ecological emergency, lawyers need to rediscover their power and contribute their intelligence, hard work and influence towards creating a legal system that protects life. That is why we are here, in the heart of the London legal district, to stand up and demand true justice for all: climate justice, intergenerational justice and justice for the natural world.”

Natalie Barbosa, listed in the Legal 500 2019, and solicitor specialising in charities and not for profit work, said: “Our legal system is fundamentally based upon the notion of drawing from the past. Safely maintaining our rights and protections by looking at What has been done and said before. This simply cannot continue if we, other species, lands and eco systems, are to survive. Our law must develop in response to what lies ahead. We must shift our understanding to respond to the future, not the past.”

The speakers were:

Notes to Editors

About Lawyers for Extinction Rebellion

Lawyers for Extinction Rebellion is a group for legal professionals and law students which is pursuing two avenues in the face of the ongoing climate and ecological emergency:

  1. The less radical – to raise awareness of the climate and ecological crisis,  across the legal community; and
  2. The more radical – for those keen and excited to get involved in actions in the legal sphere in order to demonstrate viscerally our support for Extinction Rebellion, including acting as legal and court observers, as well as taking an active role in the work of Extinction Rebellion

Lawyers for Extinction Rebellion have issued a Lawyers’ Declaration of Rebellion, which can be read here.

About Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion is a global movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of societal collapse – both of which are seen as inevitable if rapid action is not taken to rein in human-induced climate change and biodiversity loss.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inaction by their Government.

International Rebellion

Starting on October 7th, Extinction Rebellion is calling an International Rebellion. Find out more here.

Together, we will peacefully occupy the centres of power and shut them down until Governments act on the climate and ecological emergency.

Extinction Rebellion’s Demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

More Resources

The Emergency 

Extinction Rebellion in Numbers

This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook

Get involved with Lawyers for Extinction Rebellion

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