Canada Goose UK Retail Ltd and another v Persons Unknown and another

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)
JudgeSir Terence Etherton MR,Lord Justice David Richards,Lord Justice Coulson
Judgment Date05 Mar 2020
Neutral Citation[2020] EWCA Civ 303
Docket NumberCase No: A2/2019/2604

[2020] EWCA Civ 303

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)

ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION

Nicklin J

[2019] EWHC 2459 (QB)

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Before:

THE MASTER OF THE ROLLS

Lord Justice David Richards

and

Lord Justice Coulson

Case No: A2/2019/2604

Between:
Canada Goose UK Retail Limited (1) James Hayton (for and on behalf of the Employees, Security Personnel and Protected Persons pursuant to CPR 19.6) (2)
Appellants
and
Persons unknown who are Protestors against the Manufacture and Sale of Clothing Made of or Containing Animal Products and Against the Sale of Such Clothing at Canada Goose, 244 Regent Street, London W1B 3BR (1) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Foundation (a charitable company limited by guarantee, in its own right and for and on behalf of its employees and members pursuant to CPR 19.6) (2)
Respondents

Ranjit Bhose QC and Michael Buckpitt (instructed by Lewis Silkin LLP) for the Appellants

The Respondents did not appear and were not represented

Sarah Wilkinson appeared as Advocate to the Court

Hearing dates: 4 & 5 February 2020

Approved Judgment

Lord Justice Coulson

Sir Terence Etherton MR, Lord Justice David Richards and

1

This appeal concerns the way in which, and the extent to which, civil proceedings for injunctive relief against “persons unknown” can be used to restrict public protests.

2

The first appellant, Canada Goose Retail Limited UK (“Canada Goose”), is the UK trading arm of Canada Goose, an international retail clothing company which sells products, mostly coats, which contain animal fur and down. In November 2017 it opened a store at 244 Regent Street in London (“the store”). The second appellant is the manager of the store. The appellants are the claimants in these proceedings, in which they seek injunctive relief and damages in respect of what is described in the claim form as “a campaign of harassment and [the commission] of acts of trespass and/or nuisance against [them]”.

3

The first respondents (“the Unknown Persons respondents”), who are the first defendants in the proceedings, were described in the claim form as: “Persons unknown who are protesters against the manufacture and sale of clothing made of or containing animal products and against the sale of such clothing at [the store]”. The second respondent, who was added as the second defendant in the course of the proceedings, is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Foundation (“PETA”).

4

This is an appeal from the order of Nicklin J of 20 September 2019 by which he dismissed the application of the appellants for summary judgment for injunctive relief against the respondents and he discharged the interim injunctions which had been granted by Teare J on 29 November 2017 and continued, as varied, by HHJ Moloney QC (sitting as a Judge of the High Court) on 15 December 2017.

Factual background

5

From the week before it opened on 9 November 2017, the store has been the site of many protests from animal rights activists, protesting against Canada Goose's use of animal fur and down, and in particular the way that the fur of coyotes is procured. For a detailed description of the evidence about the protests, reference should be made to Nicklin J's judgment at [132]–[134]. The following is a brief summary.

6

A number of the protestors were members of PETA, which is a charitable company dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. PETA organised four demonstrations outside the store. They were small-scale in nature, and PETA gave advance notice of them to the police. In addition, some protestors appear to have been coordinated by Surge Activism (“Surge”), an animal rights organisation. Other protestors have joined the on-going protest as individuals who were not part of any wider group.

7

The demonstrations have been largely small in scale, with up to 20 people attending and generally peaceful in nature, with protestors holding signs or banners and handing out leaflets to those passing or entering the store. On some occasions more aggressive tactics have been used by the protestors, such as insulting members of the public or Canada Goose's employees.

8

A minority of protestors have committed unlawful acts. Prior to the opening of the store, around 4 and 5 November 2018, the front doors of the store were vandalised with “ Don't shop here” and “ We sell cruelty” painted on the windows and red paint was splashed over the front door. On three occasions, 11, 18 and 24 November 2017, the number of protestors (400, 300, and 100, respectively) had a serious impact on the operation of the store. The police were present on each of those occasions. On one occasion five arrests were made. On 18 November 2017 the police closed one lane of the carriageway on Regent Street. There is also evidence of criminal offences by certain individual protestors, including an offence of violence reported to the police during the large protest on 18 November 2017.

The proceedings

9

Canada Goose commenced these proceedings against the Unknown Persons respondents by a claim form issued on 29 November 2017. As mentioned above, they were described in the heading of the claim form and the particulars of claim as:

“Persons unknown who are protestors against the manufacture and sale of clothing made of or containing animal products and against the sale of such clothing at Canada Goose, 244 Regent Street, London W1B 3BR”

10

They are described in paragraph 6 of the particulars of claim as including “all persons who have since 5 November 2017 protested at the store in furtherance of the Campaign and/or who intend to further the Campaign”. The “Campaign” was described in the particulars of claim as a campaign against the sale of animal products by Canada Goose, and included seeking to persuade members of the public to boycott the store until Canada Goose ceased the lawful activity of selling animal products.

11

The particulars of claim stated that an injunction was claimed pursuant to the common law torts of trespass, watching and besetting, public and private nuisance and conspiracy to injure by unlawful means. The injunction was to restrain the Unknown Persons respondents from:

(1) Assaulting, molesting, or threatening the Protected Persons [defined in the particulars of claim as including Canada Goose's employees, security personnel working at the store and customers];

(2) Behaving in a threatening and/or intimidating and/or abusive and/or insulting manner towards Protected Persons.

(3) Doing acts which they know or ought to know cause harassment, fear, alarm, distress and/or intimidation to the Protected Persons;

(4) Intentionally photographing or filming the Protected Persons with the purpose of identifying them and/or targeting them;

(5) Making in any way whatsoever any abusive or threatening communication to the Protected Persons;

(6) Making or attempting to make repeated communications not in the ordinary course of the First Claimant's retail business to or with Employees by telephone, email or letter;

(7) Entering the Store;

(8) Blocking or otherwise obstructing the Entrances to the Store;

(9) Demonstrating at the Stores within the Inner Exclusion Zone;

(10) Demonstrating at the Stores within the Outer Exclusion Zone save that no more than 3 Protestors may at any one time demonstrate and hand out leaflets therein;

(11) Using at any time a Loudhailer within the Inner Exclusion Zone and Outer Exclusion Zone or otherwise within 50 metres of the Building Line of the Store.

12

On the same day as the claim form was issued Canada Goose applied to Teare J, without notice, for an interim injunction. He granted an interim injunction restraining the Unknown Persons respondents from doing the following:

“(1) Assaulting, molesting, or threatening the Protected Persons (defined as including Canada Goose's employees, security personnel working at the store, customer and any other person visiting or seeking to visit the store);

(2) Behaving in a threatening and/or intimidating and/or abusive and/or insulting manner directly at any individual or group of individuals within the definition of Protected Persons;

(3) Intentionally photographing or filming the Protected Persons with the purpose of identifying them and/or targeting them in connection with protests against the manufacture and/or sale or supply of Animal Products;

(4) Making in any way whatsoever any abusive or threatening electronic communication to the Protected Persons;

(5) Entering the Store;

(6) Blocking or otherwise obstructing the Entrance to the Store;

(7) Banging on the windows of the Store;

(8) Painting, spraying and/or affixing things to the outside of the Store;

(9) Projecting images on the outside of the Store;

(10) Demonstrating at the Store within the Inner Exclusion Zone;

(11) Demonstrating at the Store within the Outer Exclusion Zone A save that no more than 3 Protestors may at any one time demonstrate and hand out leaflets within the Outer Exclusion Zone A (but not within the Inner Exclusion Zone provided that no obstruction occurs other than that which is implicit in handing out leaflets;

(12) Demonstrating at the Store within the Outer Exclusion Zone B [as defined in the order] save that no more than 5 Protestors may at any one time demonstrate and hand out leaflets within Outer Exclusion Zone B (but not within the Inner Exclusion Zone) provided that no obstruction occurs other than that which is implicit in handing out leaflets;

(13) Using at any time a Loudhailer [as defined] within the Inner Exclusion Zone and Outer Exclusion Zones or otherwise within 10 metres of the Building Line of the Store;

(14) Using a Loudhailer anywhere within the vicinity of the Store otherwise than for amplification of voice.”

13

A plan attached to the order showed the Inner and Outer Exclusion Zones....

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