Concerns Regarding Environmental Impact Of Judicial Review Changes

Charities Critical Of Plans In Criminal Justice And Courts Bill


Government plans to make changes to legislation related to judicial reviews will prevent the public and charities from taking action against plans which could affect the environment, according to a coalition of organisations.

The Wildlife and Countryside Link group, which includes bodies such as the WWF-UK, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and RSCPA, has said the changes in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill could make the legal costs associated with judicial reviews “uncertain and intimidating”.

Debated in the House of Commons this week, justice secretary Chris Grayling suggested the plans were designed to reduce the use of such reviews as a campaign tool or to delay proposals which are legitimate.

However, Matt Shardlow of Buglife and chairman of the Wildlife and Countryside Link’s legal strategy group, said the plans were an attempt at intimidation.

He added: “There is very little evidence that people trying to protect their environment are hindering economic development, and manipulating the justice system to scare them away is unethical and authoritarian.”