Environmental law development: (Posted by Fiona Darroch on the 13th April 2011)
The UK Government has now been referred to the European Court of Justice, for failing to provide access to environmental justice at reasonable cost to its citizens.
Parties to the Arhus Convention are required to provide access to justice at reasonable cost for those wishing to take an environmental issue to court. Environmental law practitioners have long experience of clients with strong to arguable cases on environmental issues ( such as planning, waste and nuisance) being deterred from taking a strong case to court by the ever present risk of an adverse costs order . The European Commission commissioned research and found that the UK costs rules are a ‘significant obstacle to access to justice in the United Kingdom’.
A coalition of civil society organisations, (CAJE) complained to the Commission, in 2005, commencing a procedure which has culminated in the Commission referring the UK Govt to the European Court of Justice.
This development is highly significant for the following reasons:
General Information about the Environmental Team
The Environmental Law team at Clerksroom offers an extensive range of expertise in this rapidly expanding and cross cutting area of law: the Arhus Convention and the Environmental Liability Directive now approach full implementation within UK law; commercial and statutory entities are now experiencing the complex social and environmental impact of the Transparency Directive; packaging and waste laws are changing, becoming increasingly complex, together with the regulatory powers of local authorities and relevant agencies. The team is pleased to offer advice and advocacy in these and other related areas.