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R (on the application of EDWARDS & ANOR) v ENVIRONMENT AGENCY & ORS

Supreme Court costs officers had no jurisdiction to implement the requirement under EU law that review proceedings concerning certain environmental matters should not be prohibitively expensive. The issue of whether a review procedure was prohibitively expensive was a matter that should be addressed by the court itself, preferably at the outset of the proceedings.

20 December 2010

The appellant (P) appealed against a decision of two Supreme Court costs officers. P had been an appellant in proceedings to challenge, on environmental grounds, the first respondent's decision to issue a permit for the operation of cement works. Her appeal failed, and she obtained permission to appeal to the House of Lords. She sought a protective costs order to cap her liability for costs but her application was refused. In R (on the application of Edwards) v Environment Agency (No2) (2008) UKHL 22, (2008) 1 WLR 1587 her appeal was dismissed and she was ordered to pay the respondents' costs. By that time the jurisdiction of the House of Lords had transferred to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court costs officers concluded that, unless the court had already done so, they should seek to implement the principle in Directive 85/337 art.10a and Directive 96/61 art.15a that review proceedings concerning certain environmental matters should not be prohibitively expensive. They decided to...

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