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Successful appeal over badger cull before the Information Rights Tribunal

Tim Nesbitt successful in important appeal before the Information Rights Tribunal on environmental information relating to badger cull.

The Information Rights Tribunal has just released a decision following a three day hearing in December in which the UK Government was seeking to resist the release of information about environmental impact assessments into the national badger cull.

Tim was acting for a biologist and conservationist with an interest in European and UK protected wildlife species who wanted access to the environmental impact assessments to consider their adequacy, especially in relation to protected species.

The case turned on the application of the Environmental Information Regulations, the Aarhus Convention and EC Directive on Environmental Information. The Government contended that they should be able to withhold on the basis that the release of the information would allow protesters to know the boundaries of the cull areas, leading to intimidation and harassment in such areas which could become a serious public safety issue.

The Information Rights Tribunal ruled against the Government on all issues, including that the balance of the public interest lays clearly in favour of the release of the information to facilitate public debate on an important environmental issue.

Running alongside (and following on from) this, the appeal is a major judicial review challenge to the adequacy of the Government’s environmental impact assessments around the issue.

News 26 Jan, 2018

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