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Costs barriers to environmental judicial review: A study in environmental justice

Stech, Radoslaw 2013. Costs barriers to environmental judicial review: A study in environmental justice. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The thesis analysed unique data collected in the Environmental Law Foundation (E.L.F.), a London-based charity with a network of legal advisers located throughout the UK. It had two main purposes: firstly, to prove that costs constitute a barrier to judicial review and; secondly, to understand better the concept of environmental justice in light of polycentricity. Environmental justice focuses on patterns of disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards and promotes increased access to information and participation in decision-making. Adjudication is said to have a limited role in achieving environmental equity as it rarely addresses issues of political and economic distribution. The thesis analysed the UNECE Aarhus Convention which is binding in the UK. It is alleged that the UK Government is in breach of the Convention’s third pillar which requires access to a review procedure not to be “prohibitively expensive” (art 9(4)). E.L.F. receives calls for support from primarily poor communities facing environmental problems and refers the viable ones to a legal adviser for free initial advice. The study reviewed 774 referrals focusing on 219 of these at various stages of judicial review. A half of these referrals received a negative opinion as to the prospects of success at judicial review and the remaining half were advised to proceed. In the latter pool there were 54 cases which were prevented by the cost barrier. A significant number concluded in out-of-court/in-court settlement. The latter sample consisted of planning law-based claims which are polycentric due to the variety of involved interests. The data was also matched with the Indices of Multiple Deprivation to show polycentricity. The findings were analysed through the participatory thesis of judicial review and the concept of limits of adjudication. Thus access to adjudication may create opportunities for engagement and contributes to achieving environmental justice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: access to justice, Aarhus Convention, environmental justice, judicial review, polycentricity
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2017 07:50

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