Tag Archives: UK

Health and Safety Sentencing in the UK: A Border Divide?

The Definitive Guideline for Health and Safety Offences, which came into force on 1 February 2016 (2015 Guideline), must be applied when sentencing cases in England and Wales. Being separate and distinct legal jurisdictions, the courts of Scotland and Northern Ireland are not bound to follow the 2015 Guideline. Historically, Scottish courts have still recognised … Continue Reading

Piercing the Corporate Veil Following Breaches of UK Environmental Permits

The recent Court of Appeal decision in R v Powell and Westwood contains an interesting insight into the extent to which company directors may find themselves personally liable for the cost of remediating contamination which has been caused or knowingly permitted by the companies that they control. It has confirmed that the corporate veil should … Continue Reading

Brexit – What are the implications for UK environmental law and policy?

The topic of the moment in the UK is whether Brexit will be a good or a bad thing for the UK, and it seems to be polarising the nation. Stepping away from the political rhetoric and posturing, it is worth reflecting on some of the more practical issues arising from a UK exit from … Continue Reading

Record Fine Imposed For UK Water Pollution Offence – Prevention Less Costly Than Cure?

The record fine of £1m recently handed down to Thames Water Utilities Limited is further evidence (if any were needed) that the Courts are willing impose extremely tough penalties on very large organisations found to have breached environmental regulations. Background Thames Water has an environmental permit to discharge treated sewage from Tring Sewage Treatment Works into … Continue Reading

Risky Business: Health and Safety in the UK Hotel Industry

There have been a significant number of cases reported in the press recently in relation to hotels that are being prosecuted for health and safety breaches. The increased visibility of such cases highlights a need for stronger emphasis on compliance within the industry. The reality of health and safety risks faced by the hotel industry … Continue Reading

Reforming the offence of Public Nuisance

Introduction Five years after originally consulting the public, the Law Commission has recently published its report on reforming the common law criminal offences of public nuisance and outraging public decency.  This note focuses on the proposed reforms to the offence of public nuisance. Public nuisance is unusual in so far as it is both a … Continue Reading

Onshore Oil And Gas – Monitoring And Minimising Environmental Degradation In The UK

United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas (“UKOOG”), the representative body for the UK onshore oil and gas industry, have published guidelines for establishing environmental baselines that aim to identify variations in environmental conditions which may be attributable to onshore hydrocarbon activities.  The UKOOG guidelines are summarised below. Industry Regulators The guidelines note that the UK’s onshore hydrocarbon industry … Continue Reading

More questions than answers? The UK Supreme Court’s consideration of private nuisance in Coventry v Lawrence

In its recent judgement in the case of Coventry v Lawrence [2014] UKSC 13, the UK Supreme Court has discussed some of the key aspects of the private nuisance.  However, whilst their lordships have clarified certain elements of the tort, their judgements have raised further important questions. Factual background In 1975, planning permission was granted for … Continue Reading

UK Coronial System Rejuvenated?

On 25 July 2013, the Coroner’s Rules 1984 were replaced by: The Coroner’s (Inquest) Rules 2013 The Coroner’s (Investigations) Rules 2013 The Coroner’s Allowances, Fees and Expenses Regulations 2013 The changes were facilitated by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. The new regime will apply to any inquest not completed by 25 July 2013. The … Continue Reading

UK Sentencing Guidance For Environmental Crime – A Qualified Welcome

There has long been a concern about the lack of guidance available to the courts in the UK (especially, magistrates’ courts) when it comes to sentencing for environmental offences, in comparison to other crimes (such as theft or assault).  This has meant that similar examples of environmental wrongdoing have received greatly varying levels of fines … Continue Reading
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