In October 2021, ERCS submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service to investigate the impact of Protective Expenses Orders – which are intended to reduce the cost of litigation for environmental cases. A year later, after an initial refusal and subsequent appeal, we are still in the dark about how they are really working.
This is the first of a two-part briefing on the use of PEOs in environmental cases. Our legal system is meant to give anyone with a genuine claim the opportunity to enforce their environmental rights. Yet the cost of litigation is the greatest barrier to access to justice.
We outline the barriers ERCS has encountered in trying to access information about them and how it illustrates the lack of transparency and inefficacy of the current system.