Judical Review of Radiological Discharges from AWE Aldermaston and Burghfield

In January 2002, a three day hearing took place in the high court of justice on the judicial review of the Environment Agency's Discharge Authorisation 2000 for AWE, brought by Emanuala Marchiori and NAG. Di assisted both the legal team and the appellants in preparation of the case and during this and subsequent court hearings. Press releases were issued at each stage of the legal process through the NIS office explaining the issues.
Lord Justice Turner's judgement on 29th March found in favour of AWE, saying that military radioactive discharges need not be justified by the Environment Agency. Leave to appeal was refused, but eventually given on 22nd June 2001 by Lord Justice Buxton. He said that since the European Commission is prepared to argue that Article 34 of the Euratom Treaty applied both to civilian and military experiments, "a Judge in a domestic court should hesitate long" before saying that it is unarguable. For that reason I would grant permission."

The appeal was heard in December, on the following grounds:
i) the Agency must justify radioactive dischargesii) the Agency must notify the Food StandardAgency and give the Minister time to 'call in'the application for a public inquiryiii) the Agency must not authorise something that is in breach of international law.
[As we go to print, having failed at Appeal, the matter is now the subject of a petition to the House of Lords.]

Interdependence between this and other cases about military radiation risks involving submarines, engaged NIS in providing information to lawyers, local groups, national organisations and the media. If the AWE case succeeds, and the EU directive is found to protect public safety by ensuring military discharges are subject to full regulation, cases depending on the same principle will be proved.   

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