Environmental charities allowed to challenge changes to court cost rules

Three environmental charities have been given permission to challenge court regulations which they say make it too financially risky to bring cases over air pollution standards or the expansion of Heathrow airport.

A high court judge has agreed to limit costs liabilities of the RSPB, ClientEarth and Friends of the Earth to £10,000 in their action against the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) which introduced the new rules earlier this year.

Changes to cost protection orders brought in by the MoJ expose campaign groups to prohibitive costs running into potentially millions of pounds, and deter them from bringing important public interest cases, the campaign groups claim.

Mr Justice Dove has agreed to fast-track the case, which is likely to be heard this summer. The new rules also require claimants to reveal their personal finances in open court, plus the finances of any donors supporting the case.

In February, the House of Lords statutory instruments committee, which reviewed the rules, concluded: “Although the MoJ states that its policy intention is to introduce greater certainty into the regime, the strongly negative response to consultation and the submission received indicate the reverse outcome and that, as a result of the increased uncertainty introduced by these changes, people with a genuine complaint will be discouraged from pursuing it in the courts.”

The cost changes have been also been criticised by a UN committee, charged with reviewing access to the courts in the UK, in a report released last week which said the government was not yet meeting its legal obligations on access to justice under the Aarhus convention.

An MoJ spokesperson said on February: “The cost of bringing environmental challenges must not be prohibitively expensive, and our changes will ensure that individuals are not expected to pay legal costs above their means. Legal aid remains available for these cases.”

In a joint statement, ClientEarth, the RSPB and Friends of the Earth said: “People must be able to challenge their government when they think it is breaking the law. This is a basic democratic right. The new rules intentionally undermine this right, potentially making it so expensive that most people will be priced out of justice altogether.

“Faced with the risk of almost unlimited costs, who would put their finances, maybe even their house, on the line? Defending the environment should rely on the strength of your legal arguments, not the money in your pocket. Individuals, community groups and charities play a vital role in protecting the environment and they need financial certainty before taking a case to court. After leaving the EU, it will be even more important that people can use the UK courts to hold our government to account.

You may also like...

7 comments

  1. As you will inevitably learn on your path to losing weight, effective weight loss is not only about watching what you eat, but much more about changing your lifestyle. This means changing your habits and how you approach your day-to-day life. Read this information to help you throughout the process.

  2. Some people, especially those running on busy daily schedules tend to use the pills to help maintain weight since they can not afford to follow all the diet programs. This is not advised. It is recommended that one seek advice from a professional in this field before using the pills. This can save one from many dangers associated with the misuse.

    The diet pills should always be taken whole. Some people tend to divide the pills to serve a longer period of time. This is not advised and can lead to ineffectiveness. If it is required that one takes a complete tablet, it means that a certain amount of the ingredients are required to achieve the desired goal. It is also recommended that one does not crush the pill and dissolve it in beverages. Chemicals found in beverages have the potential of neutralizing the desired nutrients in the pill thereby leading to ineffectiveness. The best way to take the tablets is swallowing them whole with a glass of water.

    The diet pills speed up the metabolic processes. This is the key factor that leads to the burning of all the fats in the body. This means that one passes out lots of urine, which subsequently leads to dehydration. It is imperative that the user take lots of water round the clock. This will help curb dehydration, which can lead to health problems. In addition to that, water offers the required medium for the function of the nutrients and elimination of the fats.

    When buying the review of diet pills, it is imperative that one gets the most recommended dose. People tend to compromise the quality and effectiveness of the tablets due to the variation in cost. The low priced pills depict poor quality, which means their effectiveness is not reliable. Some have also been found to cause health problems. The dose should also be taken as recommended. Over dose will not speed up the process but rather lead to complication. This will increase risk of side effects. If the taking of the pill is forgotten, do not take more to compensate for the lost time.

    The diet plan enclosed with the diet pills has also to be followed. According to the requirements, the termination of the diet must be done even with no results. This means your body is irresponsive.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *