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It is not often that costs merit the attention of a public law news article; however, developments in two UK matters currently being decided in Europe signal potentially significant changes regarding the awarding of costs in environmental cases.
The 1998 Aarhus Convention, to which the EU is a signatory, states that ‘every person has the right to live an environment adequate to his or her health and wellbeing.' It provides a framework for public participation in environmental decision-making and access to justice, and states that access to court in order to challenge an environmental decision must be ‘fair, equitable, timely and not prohibitively expensive.' This language is taken up in Art 10a of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 85/337, designed to implement the Convention in EU law.