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Cases before the UNECE Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee

ACCC/C/2016/142 John Hemming v. United Kingdom
Concerning an allegation that the United Kingdom breached the access to justice requirements of Article 9 of the Aarhus Convention in the context of proceedings by individuals to enforce the duty of public authorities under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to clean up litter. Sole counsel for the United Kingdom.

ACCC/C/2015/131 Tracy Breakell v. United Kingdom
Concerning various allegations that the United Kingdom breached the access to justice requirements of Article 9 of the Aarhus Convention in the context of a challenge to a decision that a proposed urban development did not require environmental impact assessment. Lead counsel for the United Kingdom (with Jacqueline Lean).

ACCC/C/2014/101 HS2 Action Alliance  & others v. European Union
Concerning allegations that the EU has failed to comply with its obligations to put in place a regulatory framework to give effect to Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention (public participation in plans and programmes). Junior counsel for the United Kingdom (with Robert McCracken QC).

ACCC/C/2014/100 HS2 Action Alliance v. United Kingdom
Concerning allegations that that the UK Government breached Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention by failing to provide the public with adequate environmental information about the proposed High Speed Two (HS2) railway and the alternatives to it before adopting its strategy for HS2 in the January 2012 Command Paper, “High Speed Two: Decisions and Next Steps”. Junior counsel for the United Kingdom (with Robert McCracken QC).

ACCC/C/2013/85 Environmental Law Foundation v. United Kingdom and ACCC/C/2013/86 Alyson Austin v. United Kingdom
Two communications heard together concerning allegations that the costs regime in private law nuisance litigation in the United Kingdom exposes claimants to prohibitive expense and is therefore contrary to Article 9 of the Aarhus Convention. Sole counsel for the United Kingdom.

ACCC/C/2009/40 Condron v. United Kingdom
One of the first communications regarding the United Kingdom’s compliance with the Aarhus Convention, concerning whether the state could in some circumstances be responsible under the Convention for the actions of private bodies. Sole counsel for Miller Argent (South Wales) Ltd, the operator of the open cast coal mine that was the subject of the communication and whose actions were alleged to have triggered state liability under the Convention.