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Direct effect

The EC doctrine of direct effect can only be relied on by individuals, says Alexander Booth

18 October 2002

On 31 July 2002, in R (The Mayor and Citizens of Westminster City Council) v The Mayor of London (unrep), Maurice Kay J dismissed an application by Westminster for judicial review of the Mayor’s decision to introduce a congestion charging scheme in the capital. The judgment attracted a great deal of media interest and was greeted simultaneously with dismay and delight, such was the split in public opinion on the issue. However, the decision is of interest beyond its immediate consequences for those living or working in the metropolis. One point of significance is Maurice Kay J’s finding concerning the doctrine of direct effect, in the context of submissions by Westminster that it was unlawful for the Mayor to approve the scheme without first having commissioned an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Direct effect The current requirement to undertake an EIA has its origins in Directive 85/337/EEC, (since amended by Directive 97/11EC). Efforts to implement th...

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