Environmental Law and Citizen Action
By Alan Murdie
Routledge – 2009 – 260 pages
Never before have people been so aware of the importance of sound environmental law, as every week stories of controversial planning developments and prosecutions for the release of toxic substances feature in the news.
Environmental Law and Citizen Action sets out and explains the ways that ordinary citizens can use the law to ensure the environment is protected. There are a number of existing UK laws which require local authorities to control pollution and protect the environments and many more which can be used to tackle environmental offenders, yet often local government officers themselves are unaware of the full scope of their powers. Writing in a clear, accessible style, Alan Murdie explains how to get access to the relevant information, participate in public enquiries, use the courts to challenge public and government bodies and prosecute polluters. This book maps a path through the intricate legal maze to show what rights every citizen has, and how those rights can be enforced. Alan Murdie is a barrister with long-standing interest and involvement in local government issues, and a lecturer at Thames Valley University. He is co-author of To Pay or Not To Pay, a best-selling analysis of the poll tax debate, and has contributed to a wide range of legal and government periodicals. Originally published in 1993
Preface 1. The Environment, the Citizen and the Law Role of the Individual Citizen The Scope of this Book The Approach of this Book 2. Enforcing Environmental Law The Government The European Community The Courts Enforcement Bodies Access to Environmental Information Held by Public Bodies 3. Sources of Legal Information Legal Information Funded by Local Government Key Sources An Outline of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 Prescribed Processes - the Basis of Pollution Control under Part I of the EPA Participation by other Agencies and the Public 4. Prosecuting Environmental Crimes Jurisdiction Commencing Proceedings Evidence Defence Tactics Appeals 5. Judicial Review - Challenging the Decisions of Public Bodies The Reason for Administrative Law Judicial Review Defined Grounds for Judicial Review Environmental Law Decisions and Judicial Review How to Commence Judicial Review Evidence Procedure 6. Civil and Private Law Ways in which the Civil Law can be Used Commencing a Civil Action Civil and Criminal Proceedings Civil Law - a New Relevance in Environmental Protection? 7. Planning and the Built Environment Structure and Development Plans The Making of Development Plans Planning Permission Public Inquiries Procedure Large Scale Development and the Need for an Environmental Impact Assessment 8. The Atmosphere The Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1968 Control of Air Pollution under the EPA Local Authority Policies 9. Water Pollution Duties of the National Rivers Authority The NRA Consents System - Public Participation Pollution Offences and Water Defences Offences in Connection with Agriculture Civil Claims 10. Waste and Hazardous Substances EC Legislation and Waste Pollution by Waste Licensing under the EPA Offences Civil Claims Planning and Hazardous Wastes 11. Habitat and the Protection of Wildlife The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981: Sites of Special Scientific Interest Collecting Legally Admissible Evidence on SSSI Damage Section 29 Other Methods of Control Biotechnology and the Release of Genetically Engineered Organisms Appendix Index