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'Ghost Ships' judicial review begins - Friends of the Earth v Environment Agency

DATE: 08 Dec 2003

Friends of the Earth v Environment Agency, with Able (UK) Limited and English Nature as interested parties. The case has been referred to in the media as the ‘toxic ships’ or ‘Ghost Ships’ case.

This is the first of three JRs concerning the ‘toxic ships’. The preliminary issue in the first one is whether the Environment Agency was lawfully entitled to grant a modification to Able UK’s waste management so as to allow them to recycle these toxic ships. The EA has conceded that the modification they granted was unlawful, and as such, Able UK as interested party is taking the place of the Defendant in this case, by arguing that the decision was lawful. The EA is in fact supporting Friends of the Earth and is making representations to the court that their own decision should be quashed. The case will be heard by Sullivan J in the Administrative Court. If Able UK is successful in this preliminary issue, then Sullivan J will the have to decide whether or not to grant permission on a number of other grounds.