Harris ea v Environment Agency  EWHC 2606 (Admin) I fear is another case I let slip on the blog. It is a judgment which discusses to right to an effective remedy following the earlier finding in Harris & Anor v Environment Agency  EWHC 2264 (Admin) that the Agency’s allowing water extraction in three Sites of Special Scientific Interest was in breach of retained EU law, namely Article 6(2) Habitats Directive (measures designed to prevent the deterioration of habitats and species) and of the equally retained EU law precautionary principle.
The issue at stake in current case is the appropriate remedy, a classic challenge in judicial review cases in instances where the authorities have been found in breach of an obligation of effort rather than one of result. Those of us involved in climate litigation will appreciate the difficulty.
The Agency suggests the finding that there was a breach is enough of a remedy. Claimants disagree, seeking an order in the nature of  EWHC 315 (Admin) which the Agency says must be distinguished on the grounds that the regulatory requirements relevant to that order, they argue, is more prescriptive.
Johnson J holds  that ‘the claimants have not just a presumptive common law right to a remedy, but also a statutory right’, given Article 19(1) TEU’s right to an effective remedy. A mandatory order that the Environment Agency must formulate a plan is issued , a plan which must be produced within 8 weeks ; that deadline has passed at the time of posting], disclose that plan to claimants  and with the precise formulation of the order  being
“The defendant shall, by 4pm on 7 December 2022, provide to the claimants details of the measures it intends to take to comply with its duties under Article 6(2) of the Habitats Directive (“Art 6(2)”) in respect of The Broads Special Area of Conservation. The details shall include an indication as to the time by which the defendant intends to have completed those measures. It shall also include, so far as practicable, the scientific and technical basis for the defendant’s assessment of the measures that are necessary to comply with Art 6(2).”
More on the nature of the kind of orders judges may give to authorities is currently discussed in a wide range of environmental law, including climate law litigation. It is an interesting application of the nature of judicial review and trias politica..
Monash University, Law 5478 Strategic and Public Interest Litigation.