An Environmental Rights Centre could play an important role in helping navigate through the complexities of the legal and planning system. By providing low-cost advice and access to lawyers, and taking strategic legal action, a law centre like this could help people and communities across Scotland to exercise their environmental rights more effectively, and push for stronger environmental protections.

That’s why we are working with Scottish Environment LINK to build support for an Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland.

In December 2016 we held a seminar with community, NGO, legal and academic stakeholders to help develop our thinking. The seminar confirmed our sense of strong need for an Environmental Rights Centre and demonstrated broad support for the initiative. 
We have now commissioned a 6-month study to further develop the case.

Our vision is for an Environmental Rights Centre that: 

  • provides a one-stop shop for citizens, communities and NGOs to seek advice and assistance in legal and planning matters relating to the natural environment
  • educates citizens, communities and NGOs about their rights and responsibilities pertaining to environment and how these can be exercised by law 

  • plays a role in campaigning for improved access to justice in environmental matters and full compliance with the Aarhus Convention 

  • seeks to address inequality in experience of litigation and the means to pay for it 

  • has in-house lawyers who can undertake litigation on behalf of citizens, communities and NGOs, 
offers non-legal routes of action, and signposts to external lawyers and experts 

  • identifies and pursues strategic litigation to test and improve environmental law. 

Tagged with:


Mary Church

Mary Church is Head of Campaigns at FoES.

View Profile


Have Your Say

Your email address wil not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

you might want to read

Related Articles

The price of protecting the environment

Every week four people around the world are killed defending their communities and environment.

More On This
Fracking: When is a Ban a Ban?

What the Ineos court defeat means for fracking in Scotland.

More On This
Strong language on the final day of fracking challenge

The third day of INEOS and Reach CSG’s judicial review of the fracking ban drew to an early close, and with it, the substantive hearing as a whole.

More On This
Dancing around handbags in the Court of Session

Day 2 of Ineos and Reach CGS’s judicial review of the ban on fracking

More On This
INEOS legal challenge of fracking ban opens in Court

Ineos' judicial review of the Scottish Government’s ban on fracking opens

More On This
Why we are going to court to protect the fracking ban

Scotland's fracking ban is vital - and arguably legally required - in the fight against catastrophic climate change.

More On This