The High Court has granted permission to apply for a judicial review to environmental group Greenpeace. Greenpeace filed a claim at the High Court, for permission to seek judicial review of the UK’s ongoing consideration of license applications for the exploitation of North Sea oil reserves located in deep water, in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The organisation argues that ministers had acted unlawfully, due to their failure to carry out the appropriate assessment of the risks that new drilling poses to protected habitats. They are seeking court orders effectively preventing the issuing of new licenses which relate to areas close to environmentally-sensitive sites and which support whales, dolphins and other legally protected species, until the outcome of the investigation into the causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion is known.
If successful, Greenpeace’s action will affect over 20 oil production licenses and could delay future licensing rounds. The full hearing is expected in the summer term.
Robert Palmer and Laura Elizabeth John are representing Greenpeace.
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