United Kingdom

Greenpeace v. Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, (Queen's Bench Division, Administrative Court, 2007)

Jurisdiction: United Kingdom


Side A: Greenpeace (Ngo)


Side B: Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Government)


Core objectives: Challenge to consultation process for government report into construction of new nuclear power plants


Summary
The Judgment relates to a 12-month consultation process announced in November 2005 by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry regarding the Government's review of its policy with respect to nuclear power stations. Greenpeace was among the parties that made submissions during the consultation. Despite many submissions against nuclear energy, the Secretary of State published a report in July 2006 announcing that the Government was favorable to the construction of new nuclear plants in the country. Greenpeace challenged that decision arguing that the consultation process had been flawed. Agreeing with Greenpeace's allegations, the High Court declared the consultation process to have been "very seriously flawed" (para. 116). Notably, the Court reminded the Secretary of State that the Government had signed and ratified the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters and was thus bound by international law to provide full public consultation. Among other shortfalls, the Court highlighted that insufficient information was given to consultees, that the consultation document was seriously misleading, and that the consultation period was insufficient. Nevertheless, the Court held that the better outcome in the case was to grant declaratory relief, rather than a quashing order as asked by Greenpeace.
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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