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ClientEarth Communications

25 November 2020

Rule of law

ClientEarth Live: Threats and opportunities in the UK

This week, we are in court appealing a disappointing judgment approving Drax’s plans for what would be Europe’s largest gas power station. Whilst we don’t yet know the outcome of this appeal, the fact that we have this right to appeal is of paramount importance to our fight for environmental justice.

However, the UK government may be putting our recourse to judicial review at jeopardy through the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL). Judicial scrutiny of governmental decision-making is essential for holding public bodies accountable in a democratic system. This review and the consequent reforms may risk undermining civil society’s ability to fight for positive change and prevent people from challenging the lawfulness of decisions made by government and public bodies that may not be in the best interests of people and planet.

For this ClientEarth Live webinar, we introduce Senior Lawyer and Head of UK Litigation, Gillian Lobo, and our Trade and Environment Lead, Clotilde Henriot, who will explain their concerns about the threats to the rule of law in the UK, and the opportunities we have to become a role model in environmental protection as we approach COP26.

We will also explore the UK government’s approach to developing a new trade policy post-Brexit. This is a prime opportunity to move towards a model that is aligned with both domestic and global environmental objectives, whilst also having the potential to address adverse human rights impacts throughout supply chains.

Watch Replay

About the speakers

Gillian Lobo joined ClientEarth in 2015 to develop its work on climate change litigation and to establish its Climate Accountability team.  She is an experienced in-house lawyer who has contributed to a broad range of legal and policy work, including ClientEarth’s successful and precedent setting clean air litigation. She is currently Head of UK Litigation with responsibility for managing ClientEarth’s UK court cases, the UK Environment team and more generally coordinating the work of the programme teams in the UK.

Before joining ClientEarth, Gillian worked for the Government Legal Department, where she undertook a mix of work, including claims in negligence, human rights and inquests. Gillian was the government lawyer in the leading Supreme Court test cases on the scope of combat immunity and the application of Article 2 of the ECHR to soldiers whilst on military operations.

Clotilde Henriot joined ClientEarth in 2013 after working for several years in a French private law firm. Since then, she has been working on the implementation of legal instruments to reduce the drivers of deforestation, particularly on the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation. For the last year she has been working on EU and UK initiatives that aim to regulate imports of commodities associated with deforestation and human rights violations. Finally, she has also been developing analysis of the type of legal instruments needed to strengthen corporate accountability in global supply chains.