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Environmental Law

Environmental Law (9th edn)

Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivray, Ole Pedersen, Emma Lees, and Elen Stokes
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date: 23 May 2024

p. 32910. Access to environmental justice and the role of the courtslocked

p. 32910. Access to environmental justice and the role of the courtslocked

  • Stuart Bell, Stuart BellProfessor of Law and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of York
  • Donald McGillivray, Donald McGillivrayProfessor of Environmental Law, University of Sussex
  • Ole W. Pedersen, Ole W. PedersenReader in Environmental Law, Newcastle University
  • Emma LeesEmma LeesUniversity Lecturer in Environmental and Property Law, University of Cambridge
  •  and Elen StokesElen StokesProfessorial Research Fellow in Law, University of Birmingham


This chapter considers the ability of individuals to seek redress to resolve environmental disputes and the role played by the courts. First, the chapter considers the reasons why some disputes end up in the courts before focusing on the main institution of judicial redress in the form of judicial review. Focus includes discussion of likelihood of success before the courts and the usefulness of judicial review in environmental cases. Specifically, the chapter focuses on the problem encountered by litigants in respect to the exorbitant costs associated with judicial review and the attempt by the Government to address this. The chapter also briefly considers the provisions for access to justice in private law as well as before the Court of Justice for the EU before considering alternative mechanisms for compliance, including the debates surrounding the need for a special environmental court.

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Note: An update has been made available on the Online Resource Centre (June 2017).

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