Decisions are made by public authorities every day that impact on individuals, communities and our shared environment. It might be the decision to approve a planning application for a grand new development or to grant a license for toxic waste disposal.
Sometimes these decisions are poorly made. Perhaps communities are not adequately consulted, a particular angle is not examined in the planning decision, or the company’s track record in waste disposal not properly considered.
Bad decisions like these can have a serious impact on our environment, and therefore on our human rights. But the environment can’t take a public authority or company to court, to put right such a wrong, so it depends on people to take action on its behalf, and stand up for our right to a healthy environment.
This briefing describes why access to environmental justice matters to all of us, and how it is essential to improve access to the courts to ensure good, responsible decision-making by public authorities.