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Environmental Rights

  • Friends of the Earth challenge to changes to solar panel scheme successful

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change v Friends of the Earth and others [2012] EWCA Civ 28

The Court of Appeal has held that the Minister for Energy and Climate Change had no power to make a modification to the rules for subsidising small solar power schemes.  This successful case, which was brought by Friends of the Earth in England, will impact on people who signed up for the schemes on the basis that they would receive a higher subsidy rate who, under the changes, would have received lower subsidies.

David Hart QC, on the UK Human Rights Blog (UKHRB), points out that Ministers and officials should be careful about proposing changes with retrospective effect unless statute firmly authorises it.  Read his full analysis here.  Read the full judgment here.