- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
The High Court has rejected Canada Goose’s bid to restrict protestors at its European flagship store in London.
Luxury outerwear brand Canada Goose has been targeted by activists protesting about its sale of coats that are manufactured using animal products including fur and down since it opened on Regent Street in London in 2017.
In an attempt to quash protests outside its Regent Street flagship, Canada Goose obtained an interim injunction in December 2017 against "persons unknown" – defined as anyone protesting against the sale of clothing containing animal-derived materials, including fur and feathers, at the store, which restricted the number of protestors outside the store to 12.
In early 2019, the company sought a summary judgment to make the interim injunction a final order. However, in a major blow to Canada Goose, the High Court has refused the company's application for summary judgment and, pending an appeal, discharged the existing interim injunction.
The court found that an individual's right to protest is a deeply embedded legal right, and the judge refused to restrict it when the court could not be satisfied that the protesters had committed a civil wrong. The judge considered that the definition of "persons unknown" in this case did not capture a homogeneous class of persons and, importantly, pointed out that there was nothing in the definition of "protester" which assumes wrong-doing. Therefore, "the restrictions placed on demonstrations in the injunction are neither necessary nor proportionate”.
Commenting on the ruling, PETA director Elisa Allen, said in a statement: "The fact that Canada Goose tried to take such drastic and erroneous measures to silence legitimate protests shows that we're winning.
"If the company wants to stop protests, it can join the vast majority of the fashion industry and the British public in ditching cruelly obtained fur and embracing warm, stylish, and modern vegan materials.”