Government’s climate change plan found to be unlawful for the second time
HSF Notes » Public Law
by marketing
2M ago
In Friends of the Earth & Ors v Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero [2024] EWHC 995 (Admin) the High Court has found the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan (“the Plan“) to be unlawful. The Plan formed part of the statutory process set out in the Climate Change Act 2008 (“CCA“) to achieve net zero by 2050. It follows a similar finding in relation to the earlier Net Zero Strategy (“NZS“) in 2022, covered in a previous blog post. The Government is now expected to go back to the drawing board for a third time to produce a report that meets its statutory obligations in relation to clim ..read more
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Consultation or general information gathering?
HSF Notes » Public Law
by noorshahzad
2M ago
In R on the application of CU (by his mother and litigation friend, DV) v Secretary of State for Education the High Court considered the application of the Gunning principles to consultations which do not contain a specific proposal and gave guidance on the timing for challenging consultations. Key Points A consultation question which seeks information about a subject without referring to a proposal is not enough to bring the consultation within the scope of the Gunning requirements. A decision by a public body to refuse to rectify an issue with a consultation which has been brought to i ..read more
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The Evolution of Commercial Judicial Review: A 20-Year Retrospective
HSF Notes » Public Law
by noorshahzad
2M ago
To celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the Public Law Project’s annual conference in 2023, hosted by HSF, we looked back at how commercial judicial review has developed over that time alongside Tim Ward KC of Monckton Chambers. In this article we consider the standard of review in commercial regulatory cases, in particular the way the level of scrutiny a court might afford has evolved over the last 20 years. We trace the story from the early days of Cellcom cautioning against impugning decisions of expert and experienced regulators, through an apparent high point and then on to more recent ca ..read more
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Proportionality assessment in Human Rights cases: Court of Appeal sets out approach to be taken by the courts
HSF Notes » Public Law
by noorshahzad
3M ago
The Court of Appeal dismissed two appeals concerning decisions made by Government ministers under the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (the “2019 Regulations”). In doing so, the court discussed at length the role of both a first-instance court and an appellate court when reviewing decisions based on proportionality under the Human Rights Act 1998 (“HRA”). Key Points The first-instance court’s role is to determine for itself whether an act is substantively compatible with a European Convention of Human Rights (“ECHR”) right. It is not limited to reviewing the public authority’s de ..read more
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European Court of Human Rights finds first violation of Convention rights based on climate change
HSF Notes » Public Law
by noorshahzad
3M ago
The European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR“) has delivered three highly anticipated judgments on the application of the European Convention on Human Rights (“Convention“) in the climate change context. Whilst two of the cases were ruled inadmissible on procedural grounds, in the third case it has for the first time found a violation of Convention rights in the climate change context and outlined positive obligations on all States, including the UK, in relation to measures to mitigate climate change. This decision marks a significant development in the approach of the ECtHR and how the Conventi ..read more
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All eyes on the regulators as the age of AI dawns
HSF Notes » Public Law
by noorshahzad
3M ago
Recent developments in AI regulation make it clear that the burden, and risk, of regulating this exciting but difficult new area in the UK will fall squarely on existing sectoral regulators for now, including those regulators who will not necessarily have significant technical expertise in this high-tech space. We look at some of those developments and consider the difficulties for regulators, and the implications for those subject to regulation who need to keep a close eye on their regulator(s) in this context over coming months. Regulators’ role in broader AI regulation In stark contrast to ..read more
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Decision or recommendation? Court will look at substance over form when assessing jurisdiction
HSF Notes » Public Law
by noorshahzad
3M ago
In R (Rights Community Action Ltd) v Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities [2024] EWHC 359 (Admin), the High Court granted an application for judicial review by Rights Community Action Ltd (RCA), holding that planning inspectors (Inspectors) erred in law in relying on a Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) dated 2015 to remove net zero policy requirements. In doing so the court commented on various aspects of judicial review, including jurisdiction and the test for standing. Key points In establishing the jurisdiction of the court, it is the substantive nature of the mat ..read more
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Court of Appeal considers environmental challenge to nationally significant infrastructure project
HSF Notes » Public Law
by noorshahzad
4M ago
In R (on the application of Boswell) v Secretary of State for Transport [2024] EWCA Civ 145 the Court of Appeal considered the extent to which the cumulative carbon emissions of a nationally significant infrastructure project should be assessed. Key Points A wider assessment of cumulative carbon emissions for nationally significant infrastructure projects will not always be appropriate or required. The method used to assess the cumulative carbon emissions of any project is a matter for the decision-maker, challengeable only on rationality grounds. Carbon emissions have no geographic boundarie ..read more
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What’s going on behind the scenes? High Court examines use of secret policies by public bodies
HSF Notes » Public Law
by marketing
4M ago
In XY v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2024] EWHC 81 (Admin), the High Court held that the Government had been implementing an unlawful, secret policy of withholding certain decisions. In doing so, the Court commented on various well-established common law principles which are relevant to the use of secret policies by public bodies, and the duty of candour. Key points A public body must not operate an unpublished policy which is inconsistent with its published policy. A public body may depart from its published policy where there are good reasons. However, the public body must in ..read more
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Not all free speech is created equal – court upholds restrictions on propaganda disseminated through social media
HSF Notes » Public Law
by noorshahzad
5M ago
In Phillips v Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs [2024] EWHC 32 (Admin) the High Court considered the boundaries of the right to free speech and the permissibility of interference with such fundamental rights. Key points The right to freedom of speech is a fundamental common law right. However, it is subject to varying degrees of protection based on the nature of the speech. There is a distinction to be made between legitimate political dissent, which warrants the highest level of protection, and illegitimate propaganda where lesser protection is afforded. A ..read more
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