Green groups welcome proposals to allow greater access to environmental justice
Jackson for changes to the legal system to improve access to justice in environmental
protection cases  and have called on the Government to act urgently to make
the necessary changes to the costs rules.
write to the Government urging it to act swiftly to take forward recommendations
in the review of legal costs.
unaffordable for people and groups who want to use the law to protect the environment
Courts can expect to be ordered to pay tens of thousands of pounds to the other
side – usually the Government – if they lose.
that all judicial review cases should be given the same protection. The Report
recommends that claimants in all judicial review cases should not normally be
at risk of having to pay the other side’s costs .
urgent action to change the costs rules. If the Government refuses to act on
these recommendations it may find itself called to account in the European Court
access to justice. The Jackson Report advocates a solution to part of the problem.
There is no longer any excuse for inaction – a fairer system must be introduced
as quickly as possible.”
regimes for access to justice in environmental matters, and that the current costs
rules represent a “significant obstacle to access to justice in the United Kingdom”.
currently considering taking legal proceedings against the UK on the basis that
legal action is prohibitively expensive for most individuals and organisations.
against the UK because the nature of its court cost rules means that the UK cannot
comply with its international obligations to ensure that access to justice in
environmental matters is “not prohibitively expensive.” .
Litigation Costs. The report was commissioned by Sir Anthony Clarke, the Master
of the Rolls.
Law Foundation and Capacity Global.
Project (WWF-UK, ELF and Leigh, Day & Co Solicitors), (b) “Civil Law Aspects
of Environmental Justice” (2003) published by ELF and (c) “Using the Law: Barriers
and Opportunities for Environmental Justice” (2003) published by Capacity Global
justice in 25 Member States. The UK was ranked amongst the bottom five Member
States (along with Austria, Germany, Hungary and Malta), largely on the basis
of its rules on costs. The UK Report can be found at:
to access to environmental information, public participation in decision-making
and access to justice in environmental matters. The Aarhus Convention Compliance
Committee is currently examining two complaints against the UK on the basis that
environmental litigation in the UK is “prohibitively expensive”. CAJE submitted
an “amicus intervention” to the Committee in relation to both complaints and gave
oral evidence in July and September 2009. The Compliance Committee is due to
publish its findings in relation to these complaints in April 2010.
A couple of little bits from the reports below: