June 22, 2021

Top Swiss Court Rejects Climate Activists’ Appeal Over Tennis Stunt


Switzerland’s highest courtroom on Friday rejected an enchantment by environmental activists who have been sentenced for trespassing after invading a financial institution to play tennis dressed as Roger Federer.

The Federal Court docket dismissed the activists’ argument that their playful demonstration two and a half years in the past was an emergency motion justified by the local weather disaster.

“On the time of their motion, there was no present and rapid hazard,” in line with the definition below Swiss regulation, the courtroom mentioned in a press release.

In November 2018, the 12 activists entered a Credit score Suisse department in Lausanne to denounce Swiss tennis star Federer over his sponsorship offers with Switzerland’s second-biggest financial institution and its financing of fossil fuels.

In January final yr, a decrease courtroom acquitted the 12 defendants, accepting their “state of necessity” authorized argument, discovering that that they had acted legitimately within the face of the local weather emergency.

However an appeals courtroom reversed that verdict final September, heeding the view of the general public prosecutor who urged judges to “practise regulation, not emotion”, in line with Swiss information company Keystone-ATS.

It discovered them responsible of “trespassing” — a ruling upheld by the Federal Court docket on Friday.

The activists instantly introduced that they supposed to take their case to the European Court docket of Human Rights, in defence of their “elementary rights”, together with the suitable to free expression and to reveal peacefully.

Laila Batou, a defence lawyer for one of many activists, slammed the choice and the courtroom’s “lack of ambition”, in line with Keystone-ATS.

“The Federal Court docket might have given a transparent sign recognising that world warming constitutes an imminent hazard, but in addition that, in some conditions, civil disobedience is critical,” she informed the information company.

As a substitute, she mentioned, the courtroom “has dominated in favour of the highly effective, the large firms who can proceed enterprise as typical to the detriment of younger individuals.”

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