Consistency and Effectiveness: Strengthening the New Environment Tribunal
By Eva R Van Der Marel, on 1 January 2011
More than 50 government lawyers attended the 25 January launch of Professor Richard Macrory’s new report on environmental tribunals. The report was commissioned by Lord Justice Carnwath, Senior President of Tribunals, who chaired the event.
Consistency and Effectiveness examined over fifty examples of appeals provisions in contemporary British environmental legislation, and found a complete lack of coherence — appeals concerning licences or the service of enforcement notices went to a wide range of different bodies including magistrates courts, the planning inspectorate, and the Secretary of State. Often there was no right of appeal.
Professor Macrory argues that it would be far more effective if most of these appeals went to the new Environment Tribunal set up in 2010, to determine appeals against civil penalties now available to environmental regulators. The report identifies a set of priorities for transfer.
The proposals are entirely consistent with the current regulatory reform agenda. Professor Macrory noted, “Over the years we have developed a system of environmental appeals which is complex and confusing. There is now a unique opportunity to make the current structure more coherent, simple and effective.”