BACI issues Pre-Action Protocol Letter to the EA as first stage of Judicial Review Process

Following the decision by the Environment Agency to issue an Environmental Permit to Covanta – BACI has been pursuing legal advice regarding the Judicial Review Process.

The Judicial Review process must be commenced within 3 months of the issue of the Permit on 26 January 2018.

Under advisement from the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) the BACI committee started to compile evidence for the 3 headings under which Judicial Review cases are brought:

  • Illegality
  • Serious procedural defects in the decision making
  • Irrationality

ELF managed to secure us the services of a Barrister with an Environment and Planning background to appraise the quality of the evidence we had put together.

The Barrister appraised our full evidence document of 30 pages and asked to speak with several experts regarding two of the areas highlighted.

Following a 3-hour telephone conference between the Barrister, BACI and the Experts – the Barrister concluded he had identified 4 areas which he felt were relevant for the Judicial Review process at this time.

This does not mean we can not add to the grounds for Judicial Review at a later date – but the initial letter sets out these 4 identified areas.

The first stage in the process is to issue a letter to the Environment Agency outside of the courts which sets out our concerns.  This is called a Pre-Action Protocol Letter.

In order to issue the Pre-Action Protocol Letter it was necessary to appoint a firm of Solicitors.  With guidance from ELF – BACI appointed one the best-known Environmental Law firm of Solicitors in the country.

The Pre-Action Protocol Letter was sent to the EA on Tuesday 3rd April.  The Environment Agency now has 14 days to reply to this letter.



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