A Scottish Environment Court would reduce costs, develop expertise, increase accessibility, effectiveness and efficiency to achieve better outcomes for people and the environment.
In June 2023, the Scottish Government opened its environmental governance consultation, observing a legal duty to consider ‘whether the law in Scotland on access to justice on environmental matters is effective and sufficient, and whether and, if so, how the establishment of an environmental court could enhance the governance arrangements’.
The consultation creates an important opportunity to reassess how environmental disputes are dealt with in Scotland and how it can be made easier to uphold our right to a healthy environment.
However, ERCS is deeply disappointed with the Framing Report that sets out the government’s position.
We urge allies and supporters to respond forcefully to the consultation, restating the case for an environmental court – see our draft template response for guidance.
For further detail, you may also wish to consult Professor Campbell Gemmell’s 2023 report The clear and urgent case for a Scottish Environment Court, which reviews governance developments pre and post Brexit, and reinforces the arguments made in ERCS’s 2021 report on why Scotland needs an environmental court or tribunal .