Two residents of St Albans and Hemel Hempstead have staged a protest outside court in a bid to protect the right of jurors to make decisions based on their conscience.

Clive Dolphin - from St Albans - and Hemel Hempstead resident Martin Strivens were among a group of protesters who sat outside Isleworth Crown Court on July 17 and July 21.

The “public information exercise” and silent protest featured placards, whilst the group also signed a letter to the presiding judge.


Berkhamsted quaker Sue Hampton described the right of jurors to make decisions based on their conscience as "sacred".

Herts Advertiser: St Albans resident Clive Dolphin, at the protest.St Albans resident Clive Dolphin, at the protest. (Image: Supplied)

The group believe that jurors are being denied this right, with some recent protesters being directed not to tell jurors why they had committed the acts for which they were being tried.

An example of this can be found during a case at Inner London Crown Court when judge Silas Reid had imposed an order that protesters - who were on trial for taking part in a roadblock - must not mention climate change in their defence to the jury.

According to The Guardian, the judge said that the trials were not about climate change, and that the defendants’ motivations for acting the way they did had no relevance.


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Referring to the group's protests on July 17 and July 21, Sue Hampton continued: "We were literally upholding the law.

Herts Advertiser: Hemel Hempstead resident Martin Strivens.Hemel Hempstead resident Martin Strivens. (Image: Supplied)

"We are seeing trials where nonviolent protesters are being prevented from telling juries why they acted as they did, in a rapidly accelerating climate and ecological emergency.

"It’s wrong for the courts to suppress evidence to make a guilty verdict more likely."

St Albans' Clive Dolphin added: "Many people in marginalised groups depend on an open-minded jury to get the justice they deserve and overcome discrimination.”

Herts Advertiser: Yvonne Hall at the Isleworth Crown Court protest.Yvonne Hall at the Isleworth Crown Court protest. (Image: Supplied)

Hemel Hempstead residents Martin Strivens agreed with this view.

He commented: "We took a stand, silently, with placards that told the truth, to defend the human and democratic right to trial by jury.”

Herts Advertiser: Berkhamsted quaker Sue Hampton.Berkhamsted quaker Sue Hampton. (Image: Supplied)

Lastly, Yvonne Hall said: "If jurors are not given all the facts they are being denied the whole truth.

"If they don’t know they have the right to reach decisions on their conscience, they are being denied access to a lawful right.”