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Campaign group crowd funds legal challenge to government over air quality

The Good Law Project, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to use the law to protect the interests of the public, is seeking to crowd fund an action against the government on air quality.

In a page on the Crowd Justice website, it said £4,860 had so far been raised towards a £50,000 target.

Good Law Project is working with campaign groups Mums for Lungs, Student Action for Global Health and UK Youth Climate Coalition on the case.

A pre-action protocol letter has been sent to the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs.

It said there was mounting scientific evidence that linked polluted air with both the occurrence and severity of Covid-19.

“When the risk to human life is this great, we simply cannot afford to wait for this link to be proven beyond all doubt,” a message on the website said.

"The Government must act now to urgently review its air pollution strategy. We believe they have a legal obligation to do so, and we intend to hold them to it.”

Its case rests on the precautionary principle that when scientific evidence about an environmental or health hazard is uncertain precautionary measures must be taken, even if the evidence is not yet conclusive.

The Good Law Project said the Government would be in breach of this principle if it refused to review its clean air strategy, and of Articles 2 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

It has instructed James Maurici QC and Yaaser Vanderman from Landmark Chambers, and law firm Hausfield, who are acting pro bono. 

Ten per cent of the money donated will be retained to support Good Law Project’s future environmental litigation.

Mark Smulian

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