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High Court to hear legal challenge to new Aarhus costs rules

DATE: 18 Jul 2017

On Wednesday 19th July the High Court (Dove J) will hear a judicial review brought by (i) the RSPB; (ii) Friends of the Earth and (iii) Client Earth against the Ministry of Justice seeking to quash amendments made to Part 45 Section VII of the Civil Procedure Rules dealing with “Costs limits in Aarhus Convention claims” by rule 8(5) of the Civil Procedure Amendment Rules 2017/95.

The challenge alleges that these rules are unlawful in that:

(i) They fail to provide claimants with early certainty as to likely costs exposure because they permit variation of the default cap “at any point in the proceedings” ; and

(ii) They fail to provide for mandatory private hearings into a claimant’s finances.

Andrew Parkinson is appearing for the claimants led by David Wolfe QC.

James Maurici QC is appearing for the Secretary of State (Charles Banner and Jacqueline Lean have previously acted for the Secretary of State in relation to these proceedings).

For media coverage, please see here.