ClientEarth Wins important legal victory against UK Government (for a third time)

The Charity ClientEarth won its battle against the Government for a third time in a row. ClientEarth has brought court proceedings against the UK Government for its failure to implement a proper Air Quality Plan in accordance with an EU Directive introduced as long ago as 2008.

The Government has ducked and dived spending tax payers’ money defending legal cases that were brought by a charity for the good of the people of this Country. There is a commentary on the website of ClientEarth at

The last part of the Judgement is striking and shows just how irritated the Judge was by the failure of the UK Government to implement the required air quality plan:

“I end this judgment where I began, by considering the history and significance of this litigation. It is now eight years since compliance with the 2008 Directive should have been achieved. This is the third, unsuccessful, attempt the Government has made at devising an AQP [Air Quality Plan] which complies with the Directive and the domestic Regulations. Each successful challenge has been mounted by a small charity, for which the costs of such litigation constitute a significant challenge. In the meanwhile, UK citizens have been exposed to significant health risks.

“It seems to me that the time has come for the Court to consider exercising a more flexible supervisory jurisdiction in this case than is commonplace. Such an application was made to me when the November 2016 judgment was handed down. I refused it on that occasion, opting for a more conventional form of order. Given present circumstances, however, I would invite submissions from all parties, both in writing and orally, as to whether it would be appropriate for the Court to grant a continuing liberty to apply, so that the Claimant can bring the matter back before the court, in the present proceedings, if there is evidence that either Defendant is falling short in its compliance with the terms of the order of the Court”.

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