Tim Crosland

From Wikispooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Person.png Tim Crosland LinkedInRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(barrister, lawyer, activist)
Tim Crosland.jpg
BornTimothy John Edward Crosland
Alma materPembroke College (Oxford), Utrecht University
InterestsPlan B Earth

Employment.png Director of Plan B Earth

In office
December 2015 - Present

Employment.png Network Lead

In office
March 2015 - December 2015
EmployerCOP21 Support Network

Tim Crosland is Director of the charity Plan B Earth, which advances strategic legal action to tackle climate change. He has previously worked as a barrister in private practice and also as a lawyer for various governmental organisations including the National Crime Agency.[1]

Contempt of Court

In May 2021, Tim Crosland was facing prison following an unprecedented hearing by three justices of the UK/Supreme Court, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Tim Crosland was accused by the Attorney General Suella Braverman of deliberately disclosing the outcome of a ruling by the Supreme Court a day before it was delivered:

After careful consideration, I have concluded that in order that the rule of law be upheld, contempt of court proceedings should be brought against Tim Crosland. Irrespective of any personal views on any issue, there is no excuse for knowingly undermining court processes and proceedings.


A statement from the law officers explained:

On 9 December 2020, in accordance with its usual practice, the Supreme Court circulated its draft judgment on the future of Heathrow Airport to various parties involved in the case including Mr Crosland, an outspoken opponent of Heathrow’s plans. The draft judgment was circulated on a confidential basis and an embargo setting out the need for confidentiality was clearly stated. It was also made clear that breaching the embargo might be treated as a contempt of court.

On 15 December 2020, Tim Crosland issued a statement to the Press Association disclosing the Supreme Court’s decision. In his statement, Mr Crosland confirmed that he had deliberately “breached the embargo as an act of civil disobedience”.

Following a referral from the Supreme Court, the solicitor general instigated contempt of court proceedings against Mr Crosland. In doing so, the solicitor general was said to be acting independently of government and in the public interest.

Fined, not imprisoned

A panel of three Supreme Court justices accepted the attorney’s arguments and fined Crosland £5,000 for contempt. He was later ordered to pay a further £15,000 towards the attorney’s costs.

Crosland lodged an appeal. But at a hearing on 18 October 2021, counsel for the Attorney General argued that the Supreme Court had no power to hear an appeal against one of its own decisions.[2]

Supreme Court Judges Lords Briggs, Kitchin, Burrows and Lady Rose explained that this was not an appeal from the Supreme Court to the Supreme Court. It was an appeal from a panel of three justices (who had not sat on the original case) to a panel of five justices (who had not sat on the original case or on the first contempt hearing).

This was not a free-for-all, the court stressed. It didn’t open the floodgates to appeals from one panel of Judges to another at the same level. It was simply a way of considering an appeal in a contempt case.

Having decided by a majority that it could hear Crosland’s appeal, the panel considered its merits and unanimously dismissed it in the Supreme Court's Judgment given on 20 December 2021.[3]


On 21 December 2021, Plan B Earth's website announced:

**Newsflash - Supreme Court decides to side with itself and the carbon economy** https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/20/climate-lawyer-loses-supreme-court-appeal-over-heathrow-leak [4]


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:The Mind Numbing Hypocrisy of the Supreme Courtblog post21 December 2021Craig MurraySo the Supreme Court has ruled that there must be a right to appeal against imprisonment, unless your name is Craig Murray, you are connected to Julian Assange or you are a "war on terror" whistleblower.