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Legal Strategy

The Legal Strategy Group seeks to improve the creation, implementation and enforcement of English Law to better protect the natural environment by bringing together legal experts from across the NGO community to identify and take opportunities to provide support to members and working groups in the implementation, defence and development of environmental law. The group will also consider access to environmental justice issues.

Vice Chair: Carol Day, RSPB
Link: Dan Pescod, Head of Policy and Advocacy

Update from the Group:

Brexit Implications

Link’s Legal Strategy Group works Greener UK and other partners, to ensure the environmental and animal welfare protections afforded by EU legislation are matched or improved once the UK leaves the EU. To that end we scrutinised the raft of statutory instruments passed by Parliament to retain the large body of EU law within the UK statute book after EU exit day, alerting Parliamentary committees to potential oversights and incorrect interpretations of EU law.

On the environment bill, we joined forces with Greener UK (GUK) to draft a combined second reading briefing from which various parliamentarians drew during the second reading debate.

We also submitted a joint briefing to respond to the EFRA inquiry into the environment bill (published here).

Case work

The Group comprises lawyers from many Link member organisations, and one important function of its work is to share regular updates on environmental and animal welfare case work.

In this spirit, in June 2019 the Group hosted a successful workshop to help members to better understand the use of the law in environmental campaigning.

Access to Justice

The Legal Strategy Group works with our sister Links to advocate for fit for purpose application of the UK’s obligations under the Aarhus Convention. The Convention establishes several important rights of the public (individuals and their associations) with regard to the environment, including the right to access justice and challenge public decisions on environmental law.

In early 2019, along with our sister Links, we provided a statement to the Aarhus Access to Justice Task Force meeting on the UK’s compliance with access to justice requirements, and a response to the European Commission’s consultation on access to justice.

In October 2019 we provided another statement to the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee on the UK’s (non)- compliance with the Convention’s requirements on legal costs. As of the end of 2019, we await the judgement of the Compliance Committee on this matter.

For further information, contact Dan Pescod, Link’s Head of Policy and Advocacy

Last updated: 19 December 2019

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