HAPPY VALLEY- GOOSE BAY, N.L. - Prominent St. John’s lawyer Bob Buckingham has been approached by about 30 of the people served to appear in court for violating the injunction against protesting at the Muskrat Falls site.
The provincial Supreme Court issued the injunction in October ‘impeding lawful entrance to or from the Muskrat Falls construction site and engaging in any other such obstruction of the site or occupation of the site.’ Since then approximately 50 people have been ordered to appear in court for allegedly violating the injunction, thereby being in contempt of court.
Buckingham told TC Media that at this point he is gathering as much information as he can from people.
“What has happened is the Land Protectors have contacted me, have sent various documents and records to me with the names of people who want me to represent them and some other people have contacted me individually so I’m putting all of that information together,” he said.
Buckingham said at this point he’s had just documents sent to him from some people and just spoken with others. Now he needs to compile the information he has and what he needs.
For a number of the people dealing with the courts is a new experience, which does provide somewhat of a challenge, he said.
“One of the things that’s become quite apparent to me is that the individuals who have been summoned to appear in court are unfamiliar with the court processes,” he said. “This is a unique experience for them and so they’re having difficulty at times explaining what has happened and what it is they’re actually being accused of.”
He said the lack of experience for many of them with the courts provides another obstacle. The people who have been summoned to appear in court are being prosecuted or have claims against them for the civil rules of court, as opposed to the criminal rules of court. Finding a way to properly explain that to people so they are able to instruct him in terms of how to proceed is part of the challenge.
At this point though, he stressed he needs to get all the information together. Since he has been getting varying levels of information and documentation from people Buckingham put a registration form on his website, www.buckinghamlaw.ca, to assist. He said once he gets all the information together he will be looking at how to best proceed.