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The Polluter Pays Principle in the Privy Council: Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (Appellant) v The Minister of Planning, Housing and the Environment (Respondent) (Trinidad and Tobago) [2017] UKPC 37

Hilson, C. (2018) The Polluter Pays Principle in the Privy Council: Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (Appellant) v The Minister of Planning, Housing and the Environment (Respondent) (Trinidad and Tobago) [2017] UKPC 37. Journal of Environmental Law, 30 (3). pp. 507-517. ISSN 0952-8873

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/jel/eqy022

Abstract/Summary

This analysis considers the UK Privy Council judgment in the Fishermen and Friends of the Sea case – an appeal from Trinidad and Tobago. The case is noteworthy both because it provides a relatively rare judicial consideration of one of the core environmental principles – the polluter pays principle –– and because it is an unusual example of a successful principles-based challenge brought by an environmental NGO. My analysis locates the Privy Council’s consideration of the principle within the separation of powers doctrine. I argue that, largely due to this doctrine, while the case is fascinating for its policy discussion of the polluter pays principle in relation to water pollution permit charging, it is ultimately not particularly useable as a precedent by environmental lawyers in jurisdictions beyond Trinidad and Tobago. Nevertheless, the case potentially offers some instructive lessons for the UK post-Brexit, where former EU environmental principles look set to be ‘coming home’.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:78603
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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