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PE01372: Access to justice in environmental matters

EU International Affairs

Petitioner: Duncan McLaren on behalf of Friends of the Earth Scotland

Status:
Lodged

Date Lodged: 12 November 2010

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to clearly demonstrate how access to the Scottish courts is compliant with the Aarhus convention on ‘Access to Justice in Environmental Matters’ especially in relation to costs, title and interest; publish the documents and evidence of such compliance; and state what action it will take in light of the recent ruling of the Aarhus Compliance Committee against the UK Government.

Petition History:

Summary:

7 December 2010: The Committee took evidence from Duncan McLaren and Juliet Swann, Friends of the Earth Scotland, and agreed to write to the Scottish Government, Scottish Legal Aid Board, UK Environmental Law Association, Law Society of Scotland, University of Edinburgh School of Law, University of Strathclyde Law School, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe seeking responses to points raised in the petition and during the discussion. Link to Official Report 7 December 2010

8 February 2011: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Legal Aid Board seeking a response to specific points. Link to Official Report 8 February 2011

1 March 2011: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Legal Aid Board seeking a response to specific points and to invite, in its legacy paper, the Session 4 Public Petitions Committee to give further consideration to the petition. Link to Official Report 1 March 2011

1 November 2011: The Committee agreed to refer the petition to the Equal Opportunities Committee, under Rule 15.6.2, for further consideration of the issues raised in the petition as part of that Committee’s subject remit. Link to Official Report 1 November 2011 (442KB pdf)

10 January 2012: The Equal Opportunities Committee considered PE1372 by Duncan McLaren on behalf of Friends of the Earth Scotland on whether access to the Scottish courts is compliant with the Aarhus convention on ‘Access to Justice in Environmental Matters’; noted that the Scottish Government had now published a consultation document, Legal Challenges to Decisions by Public Authorities Under the Public Participation Directive 2003/35/EC: A Consultation; further noted the Government's intention, stated in the consultation document, to put in place a mechanism that would put beyond doubt Scotland's compliance with the requirements of the Public Participation Directive, which implements the Aarhus convention; and agreed to await the outcome of the consultation before taking any action. Link to Official Report 10 January 2012 (316KB pdf)

17 April 2012: The Equal Opportunities Committee considered correspondence from Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, and from the Law Society of Scotland. The Committee agreed to await the outcome of a forthcoming meeting between the Scottish Government and Friends of the Earth Scotland Link to Official Report 17 April 2012 (253KB pdf)

9 May 2013: The Equal Opportunities Committee agreed to resume consideration of PE1372 on access to justice in environmental matters once further information, expected in late 2013 or early 2014, is available. Link to Official Report 9 May 2013 (436KB pdf)

19 June 2014: The Equal Opportunities Committee considered petition PE1372, by Friends of the Earth Scotland, on Access to Justice in Environmental Matters and agreed to write to the Scottish Government for explanation of their compliance with the Aarhus convention. Link to Official Report 19 June 2014 (391KB pdf)

4 December 2014: The Equal Opportunities Committee considered petition PE1372 by Friends of the Earth Scotland, on Access to justice in environmental matters and agreed to keep the petition open and seek legal advice. Link to Official Report 4 December 2014

23 April 2015 (in private): The Equal Opportunities Committee considered petition PE1372 by Friends of the Earth Scotland, on Access to justice in environmental matters. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government for information in relation to judicial review costs and for an update on the consideration of the establishment of an environmental tribunal. The Committee also agreed to write to the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

25 February 2016: The Equal Opportunities Committee agreed to include it in its legacy report and to make recommendations for its successor Committee. Link to Official Report 25 February 2016   

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