Environmental principles and governance after Brexit: responses to consultation

An analysis report on responses recieved as part of the Consultation on Environmental Principles and Governance in Scoltand, which ran from the 16 February to 11 May 2019.

Appendix 4: Chapter 4, Q2

Examples from elsewhere

Thirteen respondents cited examples from elsewhere for the SG to consider. These are detailed below.

  • Seven respondents cited the Biodiversity Duty / Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004; Part 1, Section 1 which imposes a duty on: 'every public body and office-holder, in exercising any functions, to further the conservation of biodiversity'.
  • Three respondents cited the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee which recommended that all public authorities should act in accordance with the environmental principles.
  • A citation of Sustainable Shetland and Bova v Highland Council (both 2013) as examples of cases where the argument that the EU duties do not apply to all planning decisions was not made.
  • One respondent cited the Akester ruling that authorities were 'any Minister, government department, public or statutory undertaker, public body of any description or person holding public office. The expression also includes any person exercising any function of a competent authority in the United Kingdom.'
  • A citation of G van Calster and L Reins, EU Environmental Law (Edward Elgar 2017), 17 which discusses the issue of incorporating principles into secondary law.
  • One stated that 'literature on good governance often advocates that the State should set out clear framing or steering principles for those bodies involved in implementing policy; and devolve the means by which these principles are implemented to agencies and bodies at more regional or local scales (Blackstock et al., 2017 ). The existing duties of agencies such as SEPA or SNH, or the duty on local authorities to conserve biodiversity, mean that these agencies are already implicitly, if not explicitly, following these principles in their current practices'.


Email: fiona.eddy@gov.scot

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