When does green regulation breach human rights?

Two cases involving different outcomes for the Environment Agency show the balancing act that regulators must make when taking decisions that impact individuals

Professor Richard Macrory
Richard Macrory, emeritus professor of environmental law, University College London

Regulatory decisions by their very nature will impinge on someone’s freedom to act or use their property as they wish. Ever since the European Convention on Human Rights was given legal force in the UK under the Human Rights Act 1998, legal challenges to decisions taken by environmental regulators have increasingly raised the question of infringements of these rights. Two recent decisions of the courts, both involving the Environment Agency (EA), deal directly with the issue.

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