An amendment to the Environment Act ensures judicial review remedies can be accessed by the Office for Environmental Protection

Among the controversial provisions introduced by the Environment Bill was a restriction on the Court’s ability to apply judicial review remedies in ‘environmental reviews’ brought by the newly created oversight and enforcement body, the Office for Environmental Protection.

Limitations with the ‘environmental review’ process meant that courts may not have been able offer effective remedies in the event of unlawful decision-making by public authorities.

A successful amendment to the Bill, put forward by Lord Anderson and supported by PLP, widens the courts discretion; the Act allows the court to grant any remedy that could be granted by it on judicial review where:

(a) that granting the remedy is necessary in order to prevent or mitigate serious damage to the natural environment or to human health, and

(b) and that there is an exceptional public interest reason to grant it.

The debate Hansard is available here. The final wording of this section of the Act is here, and the government’s alternative wording is in subsection 10.