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UK Environmental Lawyers Conference

Jun 29, 2004

UKELA Annual Conference Hot topics from the cost of and barriers to environmental litigation; environmental liability; corporate social responsibility; accessing environmental information and contaminated land will be discussed at this major conference organised by the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA) from July 2nd - 4th 2004:

Barriers to taking forward environmental cases will be one of the main issues discussed by experts on environmental law meeting in Manchester this week (July 2nd – 4th).

Major concerns about the current costs rule, which means the loser generally pays the winner's costs, and the lack of a specialised environmental tribunal will be major concerns at the UK Environmental Law Association’s conference, “Making the Law Work for a Better Environment”.

The chair of UKELA, Andrew Wiseman, said: “at present it’s difficult for ordinary people, and environmental organisations, to get access to the courts in environmental cases – the risk of paying the other side’s costs is simply too high. A new UN convention that the UK has yet to ratify means this issue must be addressed”.

Former Environment Minister Rt Hon Meacher MP, who is speaking on July 2nd, will address the challenges for the government in making the law work for a better environment.
The Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, Stephen Tindale, who is speaking on July 3rd, is also concerned that the law and judges should, in all cases, fully recognise and protect the needs of the environment.

Other issues being aired at the three day conference are:
environmental liability; corporate social responsibility; accessing environmental information and contaminated land.

Notes to the editors:

Journalists are welcome to attend. Please contact Vicki Elcoate on 01306 501320 or 07715361844 to book a place. Michael Meacher MP is speaking after dinner on Friday July 2nd and Stephen Tindale after dinner on Saturday July 3rd. The full conference programme is available at www.ukela.org.
1. UKELA is the UK forum, which aims to make the law work for a better environment and to improve understanding and awareness of environmental law. UKELA’s members are involved in the practice, study or formulation of environmental law in the UK and the European Union. It attracts both lawyers and non lawyers and has a broad membership.
2. The UK is a signatory to the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters, and is in the process of ratifying it. Signatories must ensure that access to justice in environmental matters must not be “prohibitively expensive”. A newly formed Coalition on Access to Justice holds a Parliamentary launch on Monday July 5th, focusing on the issue of costs in environmental cases.
3. The UKELA conference is taking place at the Manchester Conference Centre, UMIST. Enquiries to UMIST on 0161 200 4068. The conference is sponsored by Landmark, Environment Agency, Groundsure, ERM, Argyll Environmental, Quanta, 39 Essex Street, XL Environmental , and hosted by Cobbetts.
Vicki Elcoate
UKELA Executive Officer
01306 501320

UK Environmental Law Association - Better law for the environment
Registered charity 299498; company registered in England number 2133283
Registered office: One Glass Wharf, Bristol, BS2 0ZX

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