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Barrister disbarred after leaking Supreme Court judgement on Heathrow airport expansion

A BARRISTER and climate campaigner who leaked a Supreme Court ruling in support of a third runway at Heathrow airport has been disbarred. 

At a disciplinary tribunal this week, Tim Crosland, the director of environmental campaign group Plan B Earth, was found to have caused “considerable reputational harm” to the legal profession by releasing the ruling 22 hours before it was made public in December 2020. 

Deputy Circuit Judge James Meston KC told the tribunal on Thursday that legal professionals were “entrusted” with embargoes, which are necessary for the functioning of the court. 

Mr Crosland, who had already given up the bar before the tribunal, said in response: “A barrister has the professional duty to respect the authority of the courts. 

“But I cannot respect these courts any longer. Consequently I have formally renounced my status as a barrister as an act of protest and conscience.”

He added: “I watch in horror as the courts send more and more of my friends and colleagues to prison for peacefully defending the life and lands they love.” 

In May, 2021, Mr Crosland was found in contempt of court and fined £5,000 — a ruling upheld in December last year. 

The former barrister said he broke the embargo because he believed it would give him a better chance of bringing his points to the public’s attention. 


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