Scottish Government criticised for not giving environmental court the go-ahead

A decision by the Scottish Government not to establish an environmental court despite strong support for its creation has come under fire from campaign groups.

Ministers cited “uncertainty” caused by Brexit and a “variety of views” on the types of cases the court would hear as reasons for deciding it was “not appropriate to set up a specialist environmental court or tribunal at present”.

Environmental campaigners, however, have criticised the decision.

Mary Church, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth, said:

“By closing the door on a specialist environmental court or tribunal, the Scottish government demonstrates it is in continued denial of the critical important of environmental law, and the environmental rights established in international law.

Scotland is bound by the Aarhus Convention on access to environmental justice which requires signatories “to remove or reduce financial barriers to access to justice”. A report to the UN earlier this month found that Scotland “has not yet fulfilled” its key requirements.
Read more: https://foe.scot/press-release/enviro-courts-closed/

And about Scotland’s non-compliance with the Aarhus Convention here: https://hrcscotland.org/hrcs-member-reports-and-briefings/scottish-environment-link-scotland-non-compliant-with-aarhus-convention/

 

 

Image credit: Stanley Zimney, Flickr