Leigh Day announce partnership with Wild Justice
Law firm Leigh Day is pleased to support the launch of Wild Justice.
Posted on 13 February 2019
Law firm Leigh Day is pleased to support the launch of Wild Justice, a not-for-profit company set up by TV presenter, photographer and wildlife campaigner Chris Packham CBE; author, blogger and campaigner Dr Mark Avery; and blogger, researcher and wildlife campaigner Dr Ruth Tingay which launched today.
Leigh Day’s environmental law team is representing Wild Justice in current and planned cases in which the organisation believes that public bodies are failing to protect species or habitats.
Last year Leigh Day, acting on behalf of Dr Avery, successfully challenged Natural England’s assessment that a proposed track across an area of deep peat blanket bog on Walshaw Moor, a grouse moor in West Yorkshire, would not damage habitat of international wildlife importance.
Leigh Day is also representing Dr Avery in a judicial review of Natural England’s decision to grant a licence to allow “brood management” of hen harriers - one of the rarest birds in England. Brood management involves authorising what is otherwise a criminal offence - the removal of the eggs or chicks of hen harriers from their nests. Campaigners argue that the plan placed the precarious English population of hen harriers at further significant risk and fails to address what all agree is the root cause of the hen harrier’s decline: illegal persecution on grouse moors. Judgment is awaited in that case.
Carol Day from the environmental law team at Leigh Day said:
“We are very proud to represent Wild Justice on these essential fights to retain this country’s wildlife and its wild spaces. Without such legal action very many decisions from public bodies could pass without scrutiny and impact upon the wildlife we are committed to protect for this generation and future ones.”
Chris Packham said:
“Wild. Justice. Because the wild needs justice more than ever before. The pressures wrought upon our wildlife have reached a crisis point and this is an essential response. The message is clear . . . if you are breaking the law, if the law is weak, if the law is flawed - we are coming for you. Peacefully, democratically and legally. Our simple premise is to work with the laws we’ve got to seek real justice for our wildlife, to reform, refine or renew those laws we have to ensure that justice can be properly realised. Our wildlife has been abused, has been suffering, exploited or destroyed by criminals for too long. Well, no longer. Wild Justice will at last be the voice of those victims and it will be heard . . . and justice will be served.”
Mark Avery said:
“Wild Justice will take on public bodies to get a better deal for wildlife. It’s a shame that we have to do this but we have little confidence that statutory bodies are fulfilling their functions properly. We aim to hold their feet to the fire in court. I’m reminded of what the great American environmental campaigner, Ansel Adams said ‘It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment’.”
Ruth Tingay said:
“I know many people who despair about what’s happening to our wildlife but who also feel powerless to help, typically because access to justice can be prohibitively expensive and a daunting arena. Wild Justice provides an opportunity for ordinary citizens to fight back on behalf of wildlife, collectively helping us to challenge poor decisions or flawed policies that threaten to harm our wildlife. With so many potential cases, the difficulty for us will be to decide which ones to take on first.”