Legislation has now been published that implements the Ministry of Justice’s proposals, announced last September, to codify the protective costs order regime. This will see a statutory limit of £5,000 applied to a claimant’s liability for the defendant’s costs in judicial review cases that involve environmental issues (or £10,000 if the claimant is an organisation), provided the claimant specifies that it is a case to which the Aarhus Convention applies in the claim form. Similarly, a cap of £35,000 will apply with regard to a defendant’s exposure to a claimant’s costs where the claimant is successful.

The amendment to the Civil Procedure Rules seeks to address complaints that the UK has not properly implemented the access to environmental justice provisions of the Aarhus Convention. Further details can be found in our briefing Changes to costs rules in environmental judicial review claims announced.