Everyone in Scotland deserves to live in a healthy environment. Nature depends on us to be able to use the law to defend it.
Through our advocacy work for policy and law reform, we are working for the human right to a healthy environment to be fully implemented and realised in Scots law.
This involves working in the following areas:
- Human Rights (Scotland) Bill: we are advocating for the human right to a healthy environment to be fully included to the highest possible standards as part of the new human rights laws in Scotland.
- Reform of legal expenses: we are calling for legal expenses to be reduced so that it is affordable for all of us to uphold environmental laws in a court or tribunal. This is a requirement of the international environmental law known as the Aarhus Convention and Scotland is in breach of this requirement.
- Creation of a specialist environmental court or tribunal in Scotland: we believe that Scotland should create a specialist environmental court or tribunal which is affordable and accessible for everyone, fair, timely and effective.
- Equal rights of appeal in the planning system: we believe that planning appeal rights in Scotland are not fair and therefore in breach of the Aarhus Convention. This is because developers are able to appeal refusals of planning decisions at low or no cost, but the public do not have the right to appeal poor planning decisions at low cost. In August 2022, we submitted a complaint to the Aarhus Convention. The complaint was accepted by the committee in December and they have written to the government who must respond by 21 July 2023.
Read our Advocacy Manifesto – An enforceable human right to a healthy environment, December 2021 for more information. Or you can just read our one-page Summary of Recommendations.
Complete the Scottish Government’s Human Rights Bill consultation, using our template response to guide your answers. If you don’t have time to respond to everything, you can limit your response to Part 5: Recognising the right to a healthy environment.
Sign our petition to add your support for an enforceable human right to a healthy environment.