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Judicial Review Problem Question

Parliament has enacted the fictitious Factories Emissions Control Act 2024. The Act has a number of key provisions, including:

- Section 1 states that the purpose of the Act is to reduce factory carbon emissions and to protect the environment.
- Section 2 gives the Secretary of State the power to refuse permission to build any factory or shut down any factory which is calculated to emit or does emit over 100 Kims (a fictitious unit of measurement) of waste gas per day.
- Section 3 establishes the Emissions Control Authority (ECA) to monitor the emissions of factories, and to provide grants to factories or companies who can help to reduce a factory’s overall carbon emissions profile.

The Act is now in force and a number of actions have been taken under the provisions above. A number of clients approach you for advice in relation to potential claims for judicial review which arise out of the exercise of powers granted by the Act.

1. **Harvey and Sarah** own six widget factories across the UK. They are well-known climate change deniers. Their factories’ emissions have been tested by the ECA: for four, factories emissions reached a maximum of 98 Kims per day over a week’s testing. However, the emissions of two factories in the Northeast of England reached 150 Kims on three days over a week’s testing. The Secretary of State has ordered the shutdown of all factories owned by Harvey and Sarah ‘for the foreseeable future’. The Secretary of State has not given any reason for her decision.
2. ****Emit Less is a company which manufactures high quality filters which reduce carbon emissions of industrial equipment by up to 30%. Their filters are highly complex, and not cheap, however, starting at a cost of £1.3 million. The ECA refuses to provide Emit Less with a grant, as it has a policy of only providing grants to filter companies which produce filters costing £1 million or less. Emit Less asks for the policy to be varied, but the ECA also refuses that request. Shortly afterwards, Emit Less collapses.

The **Better Governance Group** (BGG) and **Greenworld** are both non-governmental organisations who are critical of the Government’s attempts to reduce carbon emissions and have decided to bring a claim following Emit Less’ collapse. BGG has long worked in the area of public administration. Greenworld has a global reputation for its work on climate change. They both argue that the ECA’s policy will discourage factories in reducing their carbon emissions.

1. **Louis** has been planning a new widget factory in Durham. He has had experts come in and estimate the factory’s likely emissions, which have been calculated at 98 Kims per day. However, those experts have also noted that Louis’ factory will increase noise pollution levels significantly in the immediate area. The ECA and the Secretary of State are informed, and a couple of weeks later, the Secretary of State refuses permission for the factory to be built.

Advise Harvey and Sarah, Better Governance Group and Greenworld, and Louis on whether they would succeed were they to bring judicial review claims. You are not required to make reference to the ECHR or HRA.

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