Fracking in Scotland: when a ban is not a ban

An attempt to overturn Scotland’s prohibition on fracking has been undermined by the fact that, despite the political hype, government policy does not actually equate to a legal ban

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

Despite a clear statement from the Scottish government in 2017 that it had used planning controls to introduce a ban on fracking in Scotland, the Scottish Court of Session has held that in law no such ban yet exists. A challenge to the legality of such a ban was therefore held premature. The case raises important issues concerning the relationship of law and policy in an area of considerable controversy.

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