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Activists from Defend Our Juries hold silent vigil outside Ipswich Crown Court in support of retired social worker Trudi Warner

Protesters are holding a silent vigil outside Ipswich Crown Court today as part of a week of action to defend the historic role of juries.

All this week Defend Our Juries, an organisation hoping to highlight the right of jurors to acquit defendants based on their conscience irrespective of directions from the judge, has been hosting pickets outside courts across the country.

From 8.45am-10am, activists are joining hundreds of protesters across the UK to highlight the centuries-old principle of jury equity, also known as jury nullification.

Demonstrators outside Ipswich Crown Court.
Demonstrators outside Ipswich Crown Court.

The demonstration comes in support of retired social worker Trudi Warner, who is due before the High Court this week charged with contempt of court after holding a sign highlighting the principle of jury equity outside Inner London Crown Court.

If convicted, she could face prison.

A spokesperson for Defend Our Juries said: “By displaying these signs the group ran the risk of being arrested by police.

They will be there until 10am.
They will be there until 10am.

“The demonstrations come amid mounting public concern the right of juries to acquit a defendant according to their conscience is under threat.”

Defend Our Juries highlighted acquittals in recent years as an important reminder of jury equity. These include the Colson Four, in 2022, or the Brook House Three.

In February, 300 people signed an open letter to Solicitor General Robert Courts regarding the Trudi Warner case.

Activists believe it was important to keep up the action in the week of the Attorney General’s permission hearing against Ms Warner.

Camilla, a paralegal who took part in the demonstration, said: "Twenty years ago, while studying constitutional law, I'd pontificate upon the checks and balances of our constitution being imperative to halt an overreaching and oppressive government.

“I never dreamed I'd have to take action to protect them.

“I'm taking action with Defend Our Juries because it is vital not only that everyone is aware of a juror's absolute right to acquit in accordance with their conscious, but also that the Attorney General is trying to remove this right."