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Who will enforce environmental laws after Brexit?

The government has released a new set of position papers ahead of the third round of negotiations with the EU.

These include the future jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and how disputes will be resolved between the UK and the EU.

As rafts of legislation are copied across into UK law, the government must clarify how these laws will be enforced once we leave the EU.

The government’s plans say judicial review will cover this ‘governance gap’, but at present judicial review is not up to the task, as it doesn’t offer people real access to justice.

ClientEarth programme director Karla Hill said: “Without the ECJ, people and charities in the UK lose access to a court that has given them powerful avenues to justice. Laws are not just pieces of paper; they come alive in courts and are upheld by strong institutions.”

“Brexit will leave a gaping hole in the enforcement of environmental law in the UK and risks making environmental law a dead letter. The government must guarantee to replace the EU institutions with something as equally strong, to make sure that people have access to justice and that they themselves comply with the law.”

In a new briefing, Greener UK says institutions must be strengthened to avoid a domestic governance gap.

We need strong institutions equipped for transparent monitoring, reporting and enforcement of environmental law.

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Sam Ferrara

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