Using the law

Countries cannot function properly if all decisions can be challenged in the courts. Decision makers - such as local authority planning departments, the Secretary of State, and a host of other public bodies - have to make up their own minds. The courts will not interfere. However decision makers must act lawfully, which means (for example) taking into account material considerations, not taking into account immaterial ones; acting in a procedurally fair way, and acting within their powers.

Much of our work involves situations where there is concern that a decision has been made unlawfully in this sense. Other pages on this menu outline the "judicial review" and related processes used for challenging such decisions.

in addition, one can claim directly against the perpetrator of an environmental wrong - for example, someone making unreasonable noise, or exposing one to annoyance or danger from fumes. This is normally referred to as "nuisance" work. We also describe briefly how these work.