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Victory in the United Nations on Birmingham Green Waste Case

Many people remember the saga in the past about Green Waste. I took a court case out against the City Council and the City Cleared up the waste, but the court decided to award costs against me. I took this through an appeal in the Admin Court and a second appeal in the Court of Appeal (both of which I lost). I then took it to the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee where this week I won. The details are here: It is quite significant as it requires the UK to change its procedures so that people can safely challenge public authorities on environmental issues without worrying about being hit by a hefty costs bill. The fact is that there were two other people hit by this in the UK and it had shut down one local environmental charity because of the impact.


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Standards Board and Ken Livingstone

The link is to the case where Ken Livingstone appealed the decision of the Adjudication Panel for England. The Standards Board and associated Adjudication Panel have done a lot of damage to democracy in the UK. The courts are, however, bringing them into more sanity. The point about Ken Livingstone's case is that it was high profile and he also could afford to appeal. The Standard Board has a problem in that those subject to its enquiries face substantial costs that they cannot claim back. This is an issue that needs further work. In essence the Judge found that what he said brought him into disrepute, but not the office of Mayor. We do need the machinery of the SBE and APE to concentrate on things that matter rather than people being rude to each other.