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Archive for the 'Environmental sanctions' Category

Environmental Sanctions

By Richard B Macrory, on 19 April 2013

The 2013 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to:Environment & Climate Change Law (published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London www.iclg.co.uk) carries an analysis by Professor Richard Macrory which links recent case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union concerning the failure of a Member State to have an effective enforcement system with the developments in environmental sanctions in England and Wales.


UKELA criticizes Government’s new policy on Civil Sanctions

By Richard B Macrory, on 9 January 2013

Following the conference on regulatory sanctions held at UCL last November,  the UK Environmental Law Association has written to Michael Fallon,  Minister of State at the Dept of Business, Innovation and Skills expressing concern at aspects of the Government’s new policy on regulatory sanctions announced on the day of the conference.

The Government has said that in future the core civil sanction penalties will be generally applicable only to companies with 250 employees or more –  Oliver Letwin, Minister of State at the Cabinet office, explained at the conference that he felt smaller companies could be unfairly pressurized by regulators using the new powers and would not have the legal resources to exercise their rights of appeal.

In the UKELA letter, Richard Kimblin, barrister, and convenor of UKELA’s Litigation Working Party, argues  that the new policy will significantly restrict the scope for civil sanctions to be used to deal with environmental offending in future and risks creating a complicated, two-tier system for enforcement. Further, Mr Letwin’s comments at the conference about the underlying reasoning indicated to us that the policy might be based on some misconceptions about the way the present civil sanctions system works.

UKELA Letter to Michael Fallon, 20 December

Conference of Regulatory Sanctions

By Richard B Macrory, on 29 November 2012

The Centre for Law and the Environment together with the UK Environmental Law Association held a one day conference on November 9th 2012.  It brought together some of the leading players in the development of regulatory sanctions with a special focus on the environmental law where the Environment Agency and others are experimenting with new approaches provided by Part III Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 and based on proposals of Professor Macrory.

On the day of the conference the Government announced its new policy in relation to Orders granting new sanctioning powers to regulators.  Essentially all the new sanctions will continue to be available but civil financial penalties will be restricted to larger companies.

Ten things you should know about environmental enforcement and sanctions is a detailed account of the day written by Rosie Oliver, barrister and  research officer for the UK Environmental Law Association is is reproduced below with permission of UKELA.

Government Announce New Policy on Civil Sanctions

By Richard B Macrory, on 12 November 2012

On 8 November 2012, the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise gave a statement to Parliament outlining the Government’s future policy on civil sanctions. New powers concerning a range of civil sanctions were contained in Part III Regulatory Sanctions and Environment Act 2008 following a Review by Professor Macrory.

The powers have to be transferred to particular areas of regulation by subsidiary Orders, and at present these have largely been confined to a small area of environmental regulation. The Coalition Government has been concerned whether the new sanctions give too much power to regulators who can impose financial penalties without going through the courts. Those served with a penalty notice may appeal to the Regulatory Tribunal and under current orders there is a presumption of innocence with the burden of proving a case resting on the regulator.

In future, according to the Statement,  Orders will generally only been permitted where the power to impose civil sanctions in the form of financial penalties is confined to  larger companies, i.e. those with more than 250 employees. Other forms of sanctions such as Stop Notice and Compliance notices, and the power to negotiate an Enforceable Undertaking can be made available to any size of company.

The policy relates to England only.  Devolved powers means that wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may develop distinct policies.

Professor Macrory commented : “After months of uncertainty, the announcement at least clears the political air. The new approach to regulatory sanctions contained in the Regulatory Enforcement and sanctions Act has not been abandoned, though smaller and medium sized companies may not necessarily welcome being excluded from key elements of the new system”

Government Policy on Civil Sanctions

Professor Macrory speaks on Sanctions at Middle Temple

By Richard B Macrory, on 1 November 2012

Richard Macrory was one of the guest lecturers on environmental law at an early evening symposium in the Middle Temple Hall on October 8 2012.  He took part in a panel presentation with Francis Patterson QC of the Law Commission and Stephen Hockman QC,  chaired by Lord Clarke of the Supreme Court and Master Treasurer of Middle Temple, and spoke on “Reforming Regulatory Sanctions – A Quiet Revolution”