Just stop oil
The UK government is keen to stop protest groups such as Just Stop Oil from causing disruption and may be able to sue them under new guidelines. (Photo: Just Stop Oil Website)

Update May 21, 2024: Featured image was replaced to feature Just Stop Oil protestors

Environmental activist group Just Stop Oil (JSO) could face stricter sanctions in the future after an independent UK political violence and disruption government adviser laid out new proposals to limit the group's influence.

If members of JSO are found to be disruptive to individuals or organisations because of their illegal demonstrations, they may be ordered to reimburse those affected.

Lord Walney's plans are being implemented primarily to discipline protesters who stop people from getting to work on time, prevent emergency services from being able to move and affect the profits of organisations.

If individuals or companies affected can prove they experienced suffering, torment or any loss due to JSO or any other activist group's actions, they will be legally obliged to receive compensation.

According to The Telegraph, Lord Walney's plans have received the go-ahead from Downing Street and will be formally announced on Tuesday.

The adviser's review will provide close to 50 recommendations to help manage protest disruptions. Also, the review mentions that the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice should create a legal framework for compensation.

The framework could be influenced by the systems currently utilised by the small claims court and the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Per a conversation between The Telegraph and a source from the Home Office, the new guidelines will make it easier to sue JSO. This could occur when they set up a roadblock preventing people from arriving on time to work or making a hospital appointment.

The source revealed the new framework will benefit those affected by the roadblocks as they are typically powerless in removing the protesters out of their way. The latest sanctions could prove more effective as singular prosecutions have been ineffective as a deterrence.

In the two years since forming, JSO has made it their mission to convince the UK government that new fossil fuel licensing and production is wrong and should be discontinued. This has seen their members carry out protests across the UK, including at various sporting events and art galleries.

Earlier this month, two activists in their 80s brought a hammer and chisel to the British Library as they targeted the Magna Carta. They ended up damaging the glass case surrounding the historical document. The pair got placed into custody as they were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

The new framework is being put forward to eliminate disruptions on the roads and prevent MPs from being subject to protests. This would occur through the potential introduction of "protest exclusion zones" around their offices.

JSO protestors were planning on ramping up their efforts to disrupt MPs at their homes in the lead-up to the upcoming General Election in the UK. Other activists were keen to turn up and unsettle politicians making speeches at party conferences and their offices.

There has been a backlash to JSO's plans to cause disruptions at politicians' homes as Labour and Co-operative Party MP Stella Creasy wrote a piece in The Guardian to condemn the intimidation tactics used. She argued this could set a worrying trend of politicians being harassed and democracy being threatened.