Should courts trump councils on health?

It is well understood that poor air quality harms health and the environment and is a difficult problem to solve. Many UK towns and cities struggle to meet the mandatory limits set down in the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive and ClientEarth’s court battles with the UK government over its attempt to address the problem through air quality plans are well documented. But surely it is for the government and the local authorities to determine how best to measure air quality? Not necessarily, according to the opinion of Advocate General Kokott in Lies Craeynest v Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (case C-723/17, 28 February 2019).

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