Environmentalists are in court in Manchester this week over an injunction won by fracking firm Cuadrilla covering its Preston New Road site.
Three protesters, Chris Wilson, 55, Katrina Lawrie, 41, and Lee Walsh, 44, are facing contempt of court proceedings and possible fines or jail for allegedly breaching the injunction in July last year.
Cuadrilla’s injunction was granted in 2014 and the current version runs until 2020.
But the Friends of the Earth group is hoping to get the legal ruling overturned with a hearing on Friday after the contempt cases as it says the terms of the injunction are too wide ranging.
he group successfully amended a similar injunction granted to Ineos in Yorkshire in March when the judge struck out struck out restrictions on: Persons unknown “combining together”, protesting against Ineos suppliers and contractors, protesting on the public highway, such as slow walking.
Friends of the Earth’s Dave Timms said: “Injunctions such as that granted to Cuadrilla, raise very significant human rights issues and are a sinister attempt to use the law to stop peaceful protest against the fracking industry.
"Rather than being dealt with by the criminal courts, they put decisions about public order policing into the hands of the oil and gas industry with their army of corporate lawyers.”
Cuadrilla at the time said the injunction was needed to prevent unlawful protest and disruption to traffic on the nearby A583 Preston New Road.