Friends of the Earth Scotland welcomes a legal ruling limiting the financial liability of the Road Sense campaign’s Judicial Review of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.

Almost a year to the day that the first ever Protective Expense Order (PEO) was granted in Scotland to campaigners challenging the development of a new coal fired power station at Hunterston, Road Sense have won a PEO capping their potential liability to pay the other sides costs at £40,000.

However, while the granting of a second PEO in Scotland demonstrates a shift in legal culture backed by Scottish Government moves to introduce new rules on the provision of PEOs, environmental campaigners have expressed concern at the extremely high level at which orders are set.

Mary Church, campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “While these two PEOs are a considerable breakthrough for people in Scotland who want to challenge developments which adversely affect their lives, communities and environment, we are concerned about the extremely high level at which these caps have been set.

“The risk of having to pay a cost of £40,000 on top of your own legal fees if you lose your case is simply unthinkable for most people.

“Effectively, the Road Sense ruling limits the campaigners liability from a maximum of £90,000 to £70,000, including their own costs, should they lose. Individuals and communities are disenfranchised through the prohibitively high cost of questioning poor decision making.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact:

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland 

t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

Scotland is signatory to the Aarhus Convention on Access to Justice in Environmental Matters at both UK and EU level, which demands that Access to Justice must not be prohibitively expensive. Friends of the Earth Scotland are campaigning for better implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Scotland. www.foe-scotland.org.uk/access-to-justice

Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone’s future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do. www.foe-scotland.org.uk