Posts Tagged Paris

Gloucester Resources: A boon for climate change law and ‘ecologically sustainable development’ in Australia.

Update 8 May 2019 it was announced that Gloucester Resources will not be appealing hence the judgment stands.

Update 1 April 2019 Australian Coal Alliance Incorporated v Wyong Coal Pty Ltd [2019] NSWLEC 31 was held slighlty later and is a good illustration of the difference between judicial review and merits review.

Gloucester Resources v Minister for planning [2019] NSWLEC 7 is perfect material for my international environmental law classes at Monash come next (Australian) winter (September). Proposition is a permit for an open cut coal mine. Consent was refused on the basis of 3 reasons: the creation and operation of an open cut coal mine in the proposed location is in direct contravention of each zone’s planning objectives; the residual visual impact of the mine would be significant throughout all stages of the Project; and the Project is not in the public interest. Refusal was evidently appealed.

Preston CJ, the Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales delivered serious support for an internationally engaged Australian (New South Wales) climate law approach. Although he did cite the Paris Agreement (439 ff: providing context to Australia and NSW’s future challenges; and including an interesting discussion on the balanced measures that might be needed to achieve Australia’s Paris Goals, refuted at 534 ff) and the UNFCCC, he did not need Paris, Kyoto, UNFCCC or anything else ‘international’ to do so. He applied the NSW principle of ‘ecologically sustainable development’ (ESD; a notion which often rings tautologically to my ears).

A blog post cannot do justice to a 700 para judgment – Note the following paras:

At 694 ‘Acceptability of proposed development of natural resource depends not on location of natural resource but on sustainability. One of the ESD principles is sustainable use– exploiting natural resources in manner which is ‘sustainable’ ‘prudent’ ‘rational’ ‘wise’ ‘appropriate’

At 696 ‘In this case, exploitation of coal resource in Gloucester valley would not be sustainable use and would cause substantial environmental and social harm. The Project would have high visual impact over the life of the mine of about two decades. The Project would cause noise, air and light pollution that will contribute to adverse social impacts. Project will have significant negative social impacts; access to and use of infrastructure, services and facilities; culture; health and wellbeing; surroundings; and fears and aspirations…The Project will cause distributive inequity, both within the current generation and between the current and future generations.’

At 514: rejection of the relevance of the limited impact which the project will have on Australia’s GHG emissions overall, with reference to US (EPA v Massachusetts) and the Dutch Urgenda case.

No doubt appeal will follow – a case to watch.

Geert.

 

 

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Paris suing FoxNews. (Birmingham joining optional). A dream essay for conflict of laws, many questions for practitioners..

Exam time for conflict of laws students the world over, I imagine. Here’s a dream essay question. (Pick and mix a definite possibility). Bear in mind each of these questions exercises practitioners, too.

‘It is widely reported that Paris (the town, not the socialite) may sue FoxNews. (For the sake of this essay assumed to be incorporated in Delaware, USA). A FoxNews analyst suggested the existence of ‘no go’ zones for non-muslims in the French capital.

1. How would you qualify Paris’ suit?

2. Where would you advise Paris to file the suit and why? What legal basis supports your litigation advice?

3. Assuming a French court would entertain the suit. What law would it apply to the case at hand?

4. Assuming a US (State) court would entertain the suit. What law would it apply to the case at hand?

5. Assume FoxNews countersues Paris.

5.1. Under the assumption of Q3, can the French Court join the countersuit to the original one?

5.2. Under the assumption of Q4, can the US Court join the countersuit to the original one?

5.3. Assume FoxNews is successful on its countersuit in a French court and wishes to have that judgment recognised and enforced against the bank account of Paris with BancoFrancais in London. Would an English court apply state immunity?

5.4 Assuming the same as under 5.3 however against assets held in Belgium. Would you come to the same conclusion?

5.5 Assume the same as under 5.3 however on a countersuit in a US court. Would FoxNews be succesful in enforcing the judgment in France?

6. Replace ‘Paris’ with ‘Birmingham (United Kingdom)’.  Revisit all of the questions above.

7. Add (rather than replace) a claim against FoxNews by Birmingham, UK. Could a French court assumed to have already upheld jurisdiction over Paris’ claim, join a Birmingham claim? On what legal basis? (if at all).’

Enjoy pondering.

Geert.

 

 

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