The Team aims to find ways to align the law and our legal values to hold governments and corporations to account while working in partnership with, and protecting, the natural world. We bring together leading experts from across our specialist practice areas, united by our ethos “do right, fear no one”, to secure social and environmental justice, through traditional and creative legal action, education and activism.
Garden Court brings unrivalled history and experience of using the law to achieve social justice, and has a distinguished track record in the field of environmental law. The Environmental Law and Climate Justice Team reflects our understanding of the ubiquitous impact of the climate emergency, cutting across every one of our broad range of specialist practice areas. This unique multi-disciplinary approach means that members of Garden Court are perfectly placed to provide representation and advice on climate and environmental justice, whether in the context of litigation or otherwise.
Our work includes ground-breaking climate change litigation before international tribunals, and bringing Public Law judicial review challenges against decisions taken by public bodies to hold governments to account. We are equally well-known for defending the right to protest and the rights of environmental protestors in both criminal and civil courts. More widely, our members bring expertise in domestic and international migration policies, international crime and conflict law, commercial and business ethics, multi-party litigation and anti-discrimination of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.
We work with individuals, groups, grassroots campaigners, high-profile charities, and NGOs acting in litigated cases and third-party interventions. We are experienced in working on cases involving alternative funding agreements and private litigation funders.
We are committed to Pro Bono work including advising on draft climate and ecology legislation and serving on environmental NGO advisory boards.
Many of our members have founded charities or volunteer with charities committed to the protection of nature, habitats, and vulnerable groups.
Members of the Team also hold Professional Pro Bono Membership with the Environmental Law Foundation, a cross-disciplinary network of professional members who each year provide a significant amount of pro bono advice & assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged communities across the UK seeking environmental justice.
Members have also contributed to books and articles as well as academic teaching on climate change, environmental issues, protest rights and critical legal theory.
FUNDING YOUR CASE
Given some of the difficulties in obtaining legal aid for these cases, we do our best to work with other funding arrangements, including ‘no win, no fee’ agreements where appropriate, fixed fees for some matters and crowdfunding.
In some cases, legal action to protect the environment is protected by the Aarhus Convention, which limits the amount a claimant would have to pay a defendant if the claim is unsuccessful. The limit is £5,000 for individual claimants and £10,000 for group claimants. The Aarhus regime also imposes a cap of £35,000 to limit the amount a successful claimant can claim from a public body.